Vernon tax hike reduced following new rec services agreement

Tax increase trimmed

The coming property tax hike in Vernon has been trimmed, thanks to a fee-for-service agreement being reached between the city, Coldstream and RDNO.

The city is introducing two-tired recreation fees on Jan. 1.

Talks with Coldstream and RDNO broke down earlier in the year before an agreement was reached.

The city says other communities are "invited" to participate in similar recreation funding to avoid the higher user fees.

While Vernon budget talks continue tomorrow, as of mid-morning, a proposed 7.85 per cent tax hike had been scaled back to 6.39 per cent due to the $1,456,949 in revenue the recreation agreement will bring in.

Coldstream will contribute $722,103 for 2024, RDNO Area B $369,547, and Area C $365,299, as their shares of the $4,247,665 Vernon Recreation Services budget.

Three budget scenarios remain on the table, but the tax hike implications have been lowered.

Under the highest of those (6.39 per cent), spending increases would include two new RCMP officers, four additional firefighters, and a financial analyst.

The second scenario would use reserve funds for the two new RCMP officers, for a tax increase of 5.49 per cent.

The third would use reserve funds for the officers as well as to cover a transit contract increase, resulting in a 5.11 per cent increase.

Meanwhile, the Active Living Centre debt obligation means taxes will increase by 3.5 per cent each year from 2025 through 2027, and 3.0 per cent in 2028.

Budget deliberations are still ongoing, which means the final taxation amount could still change.

Public input is happening at council chambers until 3 p.m. Monday, and a final budget meeting is slotted for Tuesday at 9 a.m., if needed.

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