Taxes on the rise

Lake Country residents can’t avoid digging deeper for taxes.

Council adopted the 2011 budget Tuesday and the document includes a 3.9 per cent increase on the municipal portion of the tax bill.

“We are doing what we can to ensure there’s not a great burden placed on them (residents) but we’re the second lowest among comparable sized communities in the Okanagan,” said Mayor James Baker.

An average home assessed at $504,000 will pay an additional $54 in municipal taxes.

While Baker says council acknowledges the financial challenges facing residents, there is a need to provide services the public requires or demands.

“We are trying to continue with services and with our reserves,” he said.

“Two per cent of the increase is inflationary and we’ve been prudent. Costs don’t go down, especially when you look at fuel.”

Coun. Noreen Guenther believes the district had no choice but to pursue the financial plan that it did.

“We need to make sure we keep up with inflation,” she said.

“I also don’t want to leave expenditures so they grow to the point that it places a large burden on taxpayers in the future. I believe in doing a little bit at a time with infrastructure projects.”

As part of the 2011 budget, water rates will increase four per cent, or $19 per year, for non-metered users; four per cent, or $16 per year, for the metered base rate; and 2.7 per cent, or $2 per acre per year, for the irrigation rate for agricultural properties.

There will be no increases to sewer, garbage and recycling rates.

 

-Vernon Morningstar