Summerland’s preliminary budget document calls for expenditures of $16,761,559, not including debt charges, transfers to capital or transfers to reserves. The chart shows how this money is to be distributed. The details may change by the time the budget is finalized. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)

Summerland’s preliminary budget document calls for expenditures of $16,761,559, not including debt charges, transfers to capital or transfers to reserves. The chart shows how this money is to be distributed. The details may change by the time the budget is finalized. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)

Summerland taxes expected to increase by 3.76%

Budget for 2023 in excess of $19M

The average Summerland taxpayer can expect to see a $65.62 higher tax bill in 2023.

The preliminary general fund budget information, released in late January, calls for a tax increase of 3.76 per cent. This is lower than the staff recommendation of an increase of 4.86 per cent.

For the average home of $899,744 the preliminary increase will be $65.62, down from the recommendation of $84.41 in increased taxes.

Of this increase, 2.12 per cent is directly related to the publicly approved borrowing for the repaving of Giants Head Road. This means the operational increase portion to manage 2023 pressures is 1.64 per cent.

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“We know that it’s a tough year for residents given inflationary impacts on household budgets, so council has worked hard to keep the tax rates as low as possible, focusing on cost savings, operational efficiencies, and other revenue generation options to help keep the tax rate increase as low as possible,” said Mayor Doug Holmes.

Taxation is expected to account for $10,853,908 of the revenue received for the municipal budget. The entire amount of money, with this tax increase, is $19,419,858.

The tax-rate increase is lower than the rate of inflation in Canada for 2022. The rate of inflation peaked at 8.1 per cent in the summer and was at 6.3 per cent in December.

Other sources of funding include provincial government grants at $1,426,643, sales of services and rentals at $3,310,066 and transfers from surplus and reserve funds at $985,189.

To make up for the decrease in revenue from the lower tax rate, the municipality increased the number of transfers from surplus and reserve funds, said David Svetlichny, director of finance for Summerland.

The budget draft presented to council had been slightly higher than the latest figures. However, Svetlichny said council removed several small items from the budget in order to decrease expenditures by around $100,000.

In the documents presented to council, the biggest expenditure category was protective services, at $4,421,158. General government expenditures are estimated at $2,332,255, public works is expected to have costs of $3,274,112, garbage and recycling services are forecast to cost $2,320,154, the development services department is expected to have expenditures of $978,893, cemetery services are expected to come in at $195,152 and recreational and cultural services are expected to have expenditures of $3,239,835.

These figures may be adjusted by the time the budget is adopted.

Debt charges for 2023 are estimated at $556,903, transfer to capital is expected to be $15,000 and transfer to reserves is expected to come in at $2,169,382.

Summerland’s proposed 2023 budget is higher than in previous years.

In 2022, the budget was $17,827,733. In 2021, the actual amount was $14,106,456, and in 2020 it was $16,737,047. In 2019, meanwhile, the actual amount was $15,907,752.

A public open house will be held on the proposed general fund operational and capital budgets. The open house will be held Feb. 2 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Summerland Arena Banquet Room, 8820 Jubilee Rd. E. The open house will have information booths and staff available to answer questions about the budget.

A presentation will begin at 6:30 p.m.

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