Peachland passes budget with 5.42% tax increase, but homeowners will pay more

Taxpayers to pay 6.5% more

Peachland taxpayers are facing a 6.5 per cent increase in their property taxes, but they shouldn’t blame the municipality for all of it.

Council gave final approval to the municipal budget and tax rates for 2023 on Tuesday.

Officially, it’s a 5.42 tax increase being passed on to the typical homeowner, but with a series of parcel taxes holding steady, the increase is really just 3.85%, Mayor Patrick Van Minsel said.

Municipal taxes are only part, although the biggest big part, of the property tax bill. And other taxing authorities are passing along some whopping increases.

“I’m very happy to see we kept it at 5.42 and if you count in the municipal parcel taxes, we’re at 3.85, so that’s very good in an inflationary environment,” Van Minsel said. “I’m very disappointed to see that other taxation authorities did not do that. I see here increases of 17, 16 per cent, 38 per cent. For me that was very disappointing to see.”

The regional district portion of the tax bill is going up 17%. School taxes, the largest share among the other taxing agencies, will rise 11.87 per cent.

The BC Assessment Authority rate is going up 16.39 per cent and the tiny Municipal Finance Authority share is jumping 38.46 per cent.

At a budget meeting last week, Peachland’s chief administrative officer Joe Creron said municipalities should be able to look at and comment on regional district and school board budgets.

“Having a say in that would be very important to us and we will have a look into that,” said Van Minsel at that earlier meeting.

On a typical $890,000 house, municipal taxes will rise $99.48 or 5.42%. Taxation from other authorities rises $158.28 or 11.39%, according to budget documents.

Total taxes for a typical Peachland home will be $4,230.90, the documents say. Municipal taxes account for 63.4% of that ($2,683.24) and other taxes 36.6% ($1,547.66)

Some of the big-ticket budget expenditures include:

  • $415,000 for a plow truck, sander attachment and snowmobile
  • $150,000 for fire hall replacement drawings
  • $550,000 for the road remediation program
  • $300,000 for self-contained breathing apparatus replacement for the fire department
  • $920,000 to acquire property for a new Protective Services Building
  • $249,300 for dock repairs and replacements, an HVAC unit for the community centre and a portable stage for community events.
  • $2.5 million for a water treatment plant upgrade
  • $400,000 for water meter replacements – council heard there were 700 metres that aren’t working, but supply is hard to get right now.
  • $299,000 for water supply analysis and upgrades

With the budget now approved, any new projects that come forward can’t be funded through tax increases, finance director Gary Filafilo explained at Tuesday’s meeting, but a one-time $2.7 million provincial Growing Communities Fund grant that Peachland has put in the bank may be one possible source of funding.

A motion to use some of the fund money to help the Peachland Hub project, which is fundraising to build a new home for several community organizations, was tabled.

Officially, Peachland is raising general taxation by 5.12%, the policing tax by 7.65% and the transit tax by 2.76%.

The increase for police is due to growth in the City of Kelowna support services contract as well as the RCMP police services contract, a municipal release explained.

Peachland’s parcel taxes are mostly for water and sewer. Those rates aren’t rising and three parcel taxes will expire after this year, council was told.

Regional district taxes are increasing by 16.73% with parks, liquid waste management and fire and protective services driving the higher costs, a report to council explained.

Regional Hospital District taxes increased by 16.39%, largely because of capital and equipment services.
School taxes increased by 11.87% for capital and operating costs.

Okanagan Regional Library taxes increased by 5.08% for operating costs.

The provincial homeowner’s grant will help lower taxes for taxpayers.

Taxes are due on July 4.

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