Vernon council approves 5.49 per cent property tax increase for 2024

5.49% tax hike coming

Vernon homeowners are in for a 5.49 per cent property tax increase for 2024.

Council approved the middle of three proposed increases during budget deliberations, Monday.

Taxes could have gone up 6.39 or 5.11 per cent under the other two scenarios put forward by administration.

The approved increase will fund two new RCMP officers from reserve funding until staffing requirements can be met. That's something director of financial services Deborah Law previously said could be difficult for the force to achieve due to hiring difficulties and greater need to fill positions in small communities.

Four additional firefighters, transit expansion and an information tech position will also be funded by the increase.

A full breakdown of the proposed 2024-2028 budget can be found here.

A topic of interest for council all year – funding O’Keefe Ranch – came up during deliberations.

Council decided not to grant the ranch the $100,000 it requested.

Coun. Akbal Mund brought up his disagreement with taxpayer money continuing to be funnelled into the ranch.

Taxes were initially set to increase by as much as 7.89 per cent, but a fee-for-service agreement being reached between the city, Coldstream and RDNO scaled the increase back.

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.

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