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City staff proposing 4% tax increase for Kelowna in the new year

City staff are proposing a 4% increase to municipal taxes in 2023.

On Thursday, the city released the preliminary budget, which states the increase to taxes would result in a $91.68 increase (or $7.46 per month) for a single-detached home in Kelowna.

A report headed to council on Monday says that the increase includes a 1% public safety levy.

“The proposed public safety levy would provide a dedicated and predictable ongoing funding source for one of our highest community priorities and will allow for improved financial planning and forecasting for the future,” says city manager Doug Gilchrist.

<who> Photo Credit: 123rf

Gilchrist explains that municipalities are not permitted to run a deficit, so the city works to operate within a balanced budget. He adds that the preliminary budget prioritizes “financial prudence” and aims to keep the tax demand increase as low as possible.

Additional priorities include protecting existing infrastructure, investing in community safety, addressing social wellness, focusing on active or alternative transportation initiatives, improving digital transformation and protecting the natural environment.

“Public feedback through engagement projects, the bi-annual citizen survey, daily correspondence to mayor and council and what we heard through the election – it all plays an integral part in prioritizing budget submissions,” states Gilchrist.

Kelowna City Council is scheduled to deliberate the preliminary budget on Thursday, Dec. 8. Residents can tune into the deliberations by clicking here.

Council is expected to adopt the financial plan in April 2023, which will result in the annual tax rate being set.




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