The City of Kelowna has to kick in an additional $848,000 this year for RCMP services, with the increase to be covered through property taxes.
When the 2022 preliminary budget was prepared, the RCMP had not yet informed the city of its financial plan incorporating the impacts of a ratified collective agreement with its members. An updated plan was received in March. A preliminary property tax of 3.64 per cent was approved by council in December 2021.
The final increase of 3.94 per cent was adopted by council Monday (April 25) and reflects the updated RCMP contract rates as well as other rising costs. Council was also told that the city is still waiting for a bill from the RCMP for retroactive pay owed to members. That amount should be covered by city reserve funds, according to staff.
The 2022 financial plan showed that nearly three-quarters of tax dollars go to community safety (35 per cent) and infrastructure (32 per cent). The fire department, planning and development, active living and culture, and other programs made up the remaining 33 per cent.
Also, in the budget was the fact that Kelowna International Airport anticipates higher passenger numbers for the remainder of 2022. A budget request of $858,300 for airport operations will be funded from airport revenues.
This year’s tax increase works out to an extra $86.47 ($7.20 a month), based on the average residential property assessment of $888,420.