Kelowna staff propose tax increase of 3.49% next year

Proposed tax hike 3.49%

It appears Kelowna taxpayers will get a bit of a break compared with other large cities in the Southern Interior.

Finance manager Kevin Hughes will present council with a 2022 budget with a proposed increase of 3.49 per cent.

That's significantly less than what is being proposed in other communities. West Kelowna is proposing a four per cent increase, while at the top end, Vernon has settled on a 2022 budget with a 6.88 per cent hike.

Kelowna's is lower, despite having to pay a hefty sum to satisfy the new RCMP contract that includes a 20 per cent increase retroactive to 2016.

The proposed increase would work out to about $76.80 more in municipal taxes in 2022 for the owner of the average home, pegged at $899,190.

The increase is also lower than the 4.04 per cent taxpayers were asked to pay this year.

The budget prioritizes the city's commitment to safety, investments in recreation, arts, culture and green spaces and active and alternative modes of transportation.

Highlights include requests for 15 safety related positions including 10 RCMP officers, expansion of the Capital News Centre, development of DeHart Park, investment in vehicle charging stations and active transportation corridors.

The budget asks for a total tax demand of $163.2 million, $5.6 million more than a year ago.

Council will be presented with the budget Monday, before spending the day Thursday reviewing each expenditure line-by-line.

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