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Lake Country residents looking at 17% tax increase

The district is accepting public comment until Feb. 23
Lake Country Municipal Hall (Photo/District of Lake Country)

News of the potential double-digit property tax hike was delivered at a budget town hall in Lake Country on Jan. 31.

Residents were given a chance to provide their comments, however, many challenged council on road safety and upgrades.

One Carrs Landing Road resident suggested a toll on construction companies and developers to take some of the burden off taxpayers.

“Who are actually the ones with the heavy trucks coming through and damaging the road,” she said.

Mayor Blair Ireland noted there has been discussion with council and staff looking at keeping or limiting heavy truck traffic off residential roads.

“It’s really, really hard to do. We don’t have the enforcement to do it.”

Lake Country CAO Tanya Garost said tolling roads is an issue that is being considered across the country.

“It is going to become a bigger discussion point among councils as we see things like gas taxes reducing with electric cars and things like that,” she added. “It’s coming in the future.”

Other residents voiced concern over speeding and damage on Pelmewash Parkway, Okanagan Centre Road West, and Beaver Lake Road.

Council was also asked if the district could sell any property it owns to offset the tax increase.

“Very few,” answered Ireland. “We are probably the most land-poor municipality in the interior of B.C., we own almost next to nothing.”

Garost added that by legislation, municipalities are restricted on how funds from selling land can be used.

The significant tax increase is driven in part by the district now being responsible for 90 per cent of policing costs, inflationary pressures, and a rise in wages, supplies and other costs.

Council has only given first reading of its financial plan, and the proposed 17.05 per cent increase, and is accepting public comment on the District of Lake Country website until Feb. 23.

READ MORE: Large property tax hike looms in Lake Country


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Gary Barnes

About the Author: Gary Barnes

Journalist and broadcaster for three decades.
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