The proposed tax increase for 2017 is 3.0%. If approved by Council, the increase would add $45 to property taxes, for the year, on a West Kelowna residential property assessed at $400,000, for example.
The 2017 tax increase is consistent with those of the past three years, which have been stable, ranging from 2.7% to 3.0%.
The current financial plan proposes future tax increases of 3% annually through 2026. These increases are required to build financial reserves, consider capital requirements in various master plans, upgrade or replace infrastructure and maintain city services.
When are Taxes Due?
Property tax notices will be sent through the mail at the end of May. Payments will be due July 4. Late payments will be charged a 10% penalty as of July 5.
The City of West Kelowna has increased taxes by three percent or less in most years since incorporation. The only exception was the first full year of incorporation (2008), when a 5% tax increase was recommended by a governance committee that was attempting to forecast the costs of incorporation:
City of West Kelowna incorporation: December 6, 2007
Tax increases since incorporation:
Taking Everything Into Account
The City of West Kelowna uses a conservative approach when planning its budget each year to ensure tax dollars are spent wisely.
Staff and Council are highly cognisant of the fact that limited tax dollars are available, despite a multitude of service and program requests.
To ensure the City of West Kelowna directs tax dollars strategically, the municipality refers to recommendations in several master plans and assessments on municipal infrastructure.
Staff also conducts a Citizens' Survey each year to determine what services residents deem most important. The results of this scientifically valid survey are presented to Council prior to the start of budget deliberations. Staff and Council refer back to the document during Strategic Priority planning sessions to assist in targeting municipal funding for services, projects and programs.