A number of Kelowna property owners could get a break on their 2024 taxes

Tax relief for some possible

A handful of Kelowna property owners could get a break on their 2024 taxes if city council adopts recommendations from the city’s finance department.

The tax breaks could come for as many as 420 residential and business property owners whose 2023 assessments increased by more than 30 per cent over the previous year.

Several properties upzoned by the city to allow for greater density saw their property value through BC Assessments jump substantially.

As a result, finance director Joe Sass says staff have been poring over the city’s more than 65,000 properties to identify those most harshly affected.

“We did a very deep dive and tried to highlight those properties that moved more than would have been anticipated,” said finance director Joe Sass.

420 properties affected

They came up with a list of 420 properties, 225 residential, five light industrial and 190 business zones.

“Many municipalities would just let it roll but we are trying to be a little more proactive," Sass said.

“We have done a bunch of research and figured out what we can do within the context of the Local Government Act. We have limited tools available but came up with what we thought were sensible options for council to consider.”

Those options include deferring late payment penalties for business class property owners to Nov. 1 and establishing a one-time grant program to decrease the burden on residential property owners who would qualify.

Sass says the recommendations are being made separately to give council the option of going with one, both or neither.

Should council support both options, the overall impact to the city would be minimal, according to Sass.

Financial implications minimal

He says delaying business tax payments to Nov. 1 could cost approximately $1.8 million in investment opportunities. Providing grants to decrease taxation to select property owners would be far less, with the final impact determined by the number of properties that fit into the criteria staff will implement, should council approve the measure.

He adds financial implications have been considered within the final budget.

“Should council endorse staff’s recommendations, those that do not require a bylaw amendment will move forward on Tuesday, May 7, 2024, and those requiring bylaw amendments will be implemented upon approval of the bylaws.”

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