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Penticton  

Policing increase covered

While municipal policing costs for the Town of Osoyoos will be going up substantially after its census appeal failed last month, their proposed tax increase will not, Mayor Sue McKortoff said.

Council gave the first three readings on Monday to the this year's budget, which at present would see a 2.93% property tax increase for residents.

The cost for policing in the town will be about $950,000 this year, compared to about $375,000 in 2016, when the population of Osoyoos was below 5,000 residents.

The town also has to back pay for policing in 2017, which McKortoff said is about $700,000.

Despite the startling jump on paper, McKortoff said the cost increase has already been accounted for in taxes the town has collected.

"We have a separate line item for policing, so we've already included that," she said, pointing out that water, sewer, garbage and similar expenses are included as separate line items. 

The property tax increase will provide about $71,000 in new tax revenue, while new construction last year will account for another $9,500 or so, according to a report from town manager Barry Romanko.

The deadline to adopt this year's budget is May 15.

McKortoff said residents in the town will be able to share their input on the currently-proposed budget at the next council meeting on March 19.

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