Summerland taxes expected to rise by 4.0%

Increase to add an estimated $77.73 to typical tax bill

Summerland property taxes are expected to rise in 2020 to cover increases to the costs required by the municipality.

Council has supported a 4.0 per cent tax increase for 2020.

This includes an additional $271,730 or 3.12 per cent for operational investments and $76,642 or .88 per cent for asset management to support long-term investment community infrastructure.

For a typical Summerland home with an assessed value of $597,435, the increases will add an estimated $77.73 to the total tax bill, or $6.48 a month.

“Summerland Council feels that the proposed property tax increase meets our obligations to the residents of Summerland,” said Summerland Mayor Toni Boot. “The budget maintains or improves current service levels; it allows for initiatives and projects that will improve the livability and resiliency of our community; and we continue to plan for infrastructure investments by setting aside a percentage of the property tax.”

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Several capital projects are in the works for 2020.

These include watermain replacement on Quinpool Road, road reconstruction and drainage improvements at Doherty Avenue and Bathville Road, asphalt overlay on Victoria Road North from Turner Street to Jones Flat Road, road and watermain upgrades on a portion of Dale Meadows Road and on a portion of Giant’s Head Road, design work for the Isintok Dam outlet pipe replacement, trail repairs at Peach Orchard Beach and Rotary Beach, Eneas Creek restoration including reconstruction of the Centennial Trail and landfill second scale and entrance upgrades.

A new fenced dog park at the north end of Peach Orchard Beach Park has been proposed for 2020.

Resurfacing at the pickleball courts has been planned in order to create four more dedicated pickleball courts.

Organizational changes have been made at the municipality, for a total savings of more than $74,000.

These changes will require two new full-time positions and one part-time position at the municipality.

However, other municipal positions have been restructured or phased out, resulting in the total savings.

These measures include not replacing the executive assistant position, restructuring the information technology department and removing IT relief wages, hiring a planning tech rather than a planning manager and reducing salaries and making position changes in the building department.

The new positions are an IT support technician, a planning technician and a part-time human resources administration staffer.

“The 2020 general fund budget process provided many challenges for district staff,” said David Sveltichny, director of finance for the municipality. “Balancing the community’s expected levels of service with limited financial resources is always difficult, however; I am happy to report that the proposed budget does not provide for any reductions in service levels and does provide for increased levels in specific areas.”

“As our organization looks to support delivering council’s priorities we will need to invest wisely and efficiently as we deliver high quality service and respond to the community’s needs,” said Anthony Haddad, Summerland’s chief administrative officer. “Our limited tax base presents us with some challenges. However, recognizing these limitations has been at the forefront of the budgeting process – seeking to deliver the high quality service that our residents and businesses expect, while looking to the future to sustain our infrastructure and community assets.”

A community open house on the budget will be held at the Summerland Arena Feb. 12 from 4 to 7 p.m.

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