City finalizes budget with 1.3% increase

Business tax rates to reduce with four-year plan


The City of Penticton has adopted its 2015 financial plan including a 1.3% tax increase – continuing the trend of marginal rate changes as a result of zero-based budgeting.

“This budget has factored in cost control and fiscal responsibility, in addition to several strategic investments that residents and businesses requested last fall,” said Mayor Andrew Jakubeit. “Our citizens have told us they want to see our community grow, and this budget delivers on that promise in a sustainable and responsible way.”

After six days of budget discussions and deliberations, City of Penticton council approved a 1.3% increase to cover a $326,230 shortfall.

This follows on the City of Penticton's trend of keeping tax increases low and under Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures on inflation. Zero-based budgeting has been used in the City of Penticton's financial planning process since 2011:


2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
Tax rate change
-0.5
0.0
0.0
2.0
1.3
CPI
3.1
1.8
0.9
1.95

Council also passed a four-year plan to incrementally reduce the business tax multiplier down, to make the City of Penticton among the most competitive and cost-effective municipalities to operate a commercial business. The change would be incremental, stepping the multiplier down evenly from 1.667 to 1.5. Penticton has the 11th lowest property tax gap in B.C., and the change will make the City the most competitive in the Okanagan Valley and among the top 5 in the province.

The tax rate changes in 2015 means a $30.92 increase in annual municipal taxes for the average assessed home of $350,000, or $2.57 per month.

Costs were tightly controlled despite budget pressures and strategic investments incorporated into the financial plan:

  • RCMP contract costs increased $188,000
  • Fire Department investments totalled $309.000
  • Economic Development investments were $443,000
  • GoMedia conference investment will leverage the City's profile $125,000

All budget proposals are available on the City website at www.penticton.ca/budget. The budget bylaw will require three readings before final adoption. The bylaw will likely be introduced on Jan. 19.