The Downtown Penticton Association is looking forward to hosting a full scale market in 2022 but in the meantime they have a mini market this summer 2021. (File photo)

The Downtown Penticton Association is looking forward to hosting a full scale market in 2022 but in the meantime they have a mini market this summer 2021. (File photo)

Downtown Penticton Association opposes potential 8.5% tax hike

Increase ‘disheartening and alludes to a disassociation from the financial realities’ many face: DPA

The Downtown Penticton Association has come out against the 8.5 per cent tax hike listed in the recently released draft city budget for 2022.

In an open letter addressed to the mayor and council, the DPA called for the city to pull more from their reserves instead of increasing taxes by the 8.5 per cent proposed in the draft budget.

The draft budget is now undergoing public feedback, including four information sessions both online and in-person, ahead of council’s deliberations on Nov. 22 and 23.

The majority of that tax increase, at 4.4 per cent, is set to cover proposed increases in the number of RCMP officers and city bylaw officers and staff in 2022.

The remainder of the increase is proposed to cover inflation and reduced revenue from other funding streams.

The DPA said the potential 8.5 per cent increase is “disheartening and alludes to a disassociation from the financial realities many in our community face.”

The DPA is calling on the city to look at other, alternative methods of funding expenses over the usage of tax increases.

“COVID-19 spread has left local economies and businesses counting the costs, as municipal governments struggle with implementing new measures supporting and accelerating local business and community recovery to regain/rebuild what has been lost or disrupted by the pandemic,” reads the letter.

One of the alternatives the DPA called on was the remainder of the city’s COVID-19 Restart funds to be used. However, those funds have already been accounted for in the draft budget and are being used to offset a further seven per cent tax rate increase.

The letter finishes with recommendations and requests for the city, including holding or lowering property taxes and water and sewer utility rates for the year, as well as decreasing electrical rates and increasing gas rates instead.

In addition to supporting the city’s proposal for more community safety, the DPA letter also called on the city to address affordable housing in the community through adjusting zoning for developments.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Property taxes