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Tax jump of 23% by 2018

If current projections are accurate the City of Kelowna will have to raise more than $131M in taxation by 2018.

That's more than $23M higher than the $107.7M required this year - an increase of about 23 per cent.

In order to raise those revenues municipal taxes are projected to increase 13.7% from 2015 through 2018.

That would break down to 3.1%,(2015) 4.7%, (2016) 3.9% (2017) and 2% (2018).

This would allow the city to raise an anticipated taxation demand of $113.1M, $120.2M, $126.8M and $131.3M over the next four years.

Outgoing financial director, Keith Grayston says the projections are based on estimates in revenues and expenditures

"Operating costs may include growth and inflationary components for some and just growth or inflation on others. Revenues are looked at similarly," Grayston told council Monday.

"The taxation or pay-as-you-go capital plan is based on the 2020 capital plan and utility models. It has been adjusted based on the reduced funding level in 2014."

Grayston said the larger increases reflect the additional debt load that will be incurred by the city as we move towards completion of the new RCMP Detachment building.

He also told council decisions already made this year and in previous years mean a total of $1.3M is already going to be in place in 2015 before any consideration for contract changes or inflationary impacts are taken into account.

That's a starting point of 1.28%.

That increase includes the addition of three more RCMP officers, additional amounts for the fire equipment reserve, some parks' maintenance and the transit expansion.

Council also gave final approval to the 2014 budget which includes a 2.49% tax increase as agreed to in December.

That translates into an increase of $42.13 for the owner of an average $451,350 (assessed value) single-family Kelowna home.


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