(Stock photo)

Summerland staff reworks budget

Tax rate remains unchanged, but some items deferred or cut

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Summerland property owners have more time than usual to pay their property taxes this year.

Normally the deadline would be July 3, but this year, it has been extended until the end of September.

As a result, the municipality has been working to address potential cash flow challenges for this year.

“It was definitely something we’ve been looking at since COVID-19 hit,” said David Svetlichny, director of finance for the municipality.

While the four per cent tax increase was not changed as a result of the pandemic, the municipality has made numerous changes to its budget.

READ ALSO: Summerland council revisiting budget

READ ALSO: Summerland issues staff cuts and layoffs due to COVID-19 pandemic

Svetlichny said Summerland council has reduced its annual budget by $13.4 million this year. In February, a budget of $61.6 million had been approved.

Changes to capital projects, including deferring some projects, accounted for $9.6 million from the budget. In some cases, the scope of municipal projects has been changed.

The budget also changed as public facilities were closed and some staff were laid off earlier in the year.

In the past, the municipality would receive money from the rental of the arena for summer hockey schools, graduation and other events. However, since the arena has been closed, the money did not come in.

The Summerland Aquatic and Fitness Centre has also been closed during the pandemic, also affecting municipal finances.

“We’re not bringing in any recreational revenues,” Svetlichny said.

In mid-April, temporary cuts were made to 11 permanent part-time employees at the fitness centre and 12 full-time employees throughout the municipality. Council also chose not to fill two new positions which had earlier been approved in the 2020 municipal budget.

Summerland mayor Toni Boot said the municipality chose to keep the four per cent tax increase, instead offering reductions in utility rates.

She said it is more equitable for the municipality to reduce utility rates while maintaining the tax level.

“If you’re able to pay, please do so by the July 3 typical tax deadline,” she added.

To report a typo, email:
news@summerlandreview.com
.



news@summerlandreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Municipal Government

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Work limits Lake Country road access

Bottom Wood Lake Road closed to southbound traffic

Wanted man with violent past might be in Okanagan

RCMP asking for public’s help in locating Roy Andrew

Citing stability, B.C. Premier calls snap election for Oct. 24

John Horgan meets with Lieutenant Governor to request vote

Morning Start: Polar bears don’t have white skin or fur

Your morning start for Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020

Playground reopens at Vernon’s Polson Park

No more standing water, park reopens just in time for summer’s end

COVID-19: 4 more deaths, 366 new cases in B.C. since Friday

A total of 8,208 people in B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19 since January

RCMP issue two $2,300 COVID fines at same Metro Vancouver vacation rental within 24 hours

Cpl. Mike Kalanj said it was ‘quite frankly appalling’ to see parties breaking COVID-19 rules

Here’s how voting amid a pandemic will happen in B.C.

Elections BC has worked with the provincial health office to determine safety protocols for voting

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. privacy commissioner will hear First Nations complaints about COVID

The hearing will rely on written submissions from the Indigenous governments as well as the Ministry of Health

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Majority of Canadians support wearing masks during COVID-19, oppose protests: poll

Nearly 90 per cent felt wearing a mask was a civic duty because it protects others from COVID-19

Paper towel in short supply as people stay home, clean more, industry leader says

While toilet paper consumption has returned to normal levels, paper towel sales continue to outpace pre-COVID levels

16 COVID-19 cases reported in Interior Health region

One person is in hospital and 34 people are isolating

Most Read