EDITORIAL: Examining finances

Municipal budget will likely mean higher taxes

Members of municipal council and municipal staff around the province are currently examining figures and counting costs as they plan the 2020 budget.

The budget covers the costs involved in providing local government services. It includes costs such as policing and other protective services, utilities, road construction and maintenance, recreation facilities and services, park maintenance, the community’s share of public transit costs, administration costs and more.

Each year, these costs increase as wage contracts and costs of supplies tend to rise.

As a result of these increases, property taxes in most B.C. communities will increase once again this year.

While nobody likes a tax increase, the increases are necessary in order to maintain existing levels of services provided by the municipality.

READ ALSO: Summerland taxes expected to rise by 4.0%

READ ALSO: Summerland’s proposed budget requires $16,382,355

There is no sustainable way to avoid these increases.

Some may suggest a municipal government simply tighten the belt and find efficiencies in order to cut costs or at least hold taxes to present levels, thereby avoiding the need for an increase.

However, municipal budgets are carefully scrutinized, and if there were reasonable ways to streamline operations or find ways to trim costs, these changes would most likely be implemented.

Others might suggest holding back on the amount of money put into future reserves.

This could provide short-term relief, but eventually, roads will need significant repairs, water, sewer or power lines will need to be replaced and municipally-owned facilities will require upgrades or replacement.

At best, cutting back on reserve funding would only delay the inevitable. Sooner or later, the municipality will need funds for capital projects. Even with grant funding, the municipality still pays a portion of these costs.

Some may suggest cutting some of the services provided by the municipality.

The question is which services should be cut?

Road maintenance and winter snow clearing are essential. Police and protective services cannot be cancelled. Utilities must be maintained.

Members of the public need to be aware of the budget process at this time, and still speak out if there are areas of concern.

However when raising concerns, one should always consider the funds necessary to best provide the services a community needs.

— Black Press

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



news@summerlandreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

Sternwheelers once plied Okanagan Lake

Vessels once transported passengers and goods along the Okanagan Valley

Fires ignite on Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie; Kamloops Fire Centre blazes holding

Crews working throughout region over holiday weekend to contain wildfires

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

Fourteen blazes sparked in Kamloops Fire Centre

Lightning the suspected cause of all fires but one; cause of Solco Creek blaze remains unknown

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Police watchdog investigates Kamloops RCMP after stabbing death

The IIO is investigating the police’s lack of success in locating the man charged in stabbing

Forty-three properties near Dry Lake, along Highway 5A, under evacuation alert

Wildfire has been burning out of control north of Princeton for two days

Wildfire near Merritt creates smoke for drivers on Coquihalla

Coldwater River fire was estimated at seven hectares Aug. 3 and classified as out of control

Thompson Okanagan Tourist Association: Who can’t access your business?

TOTA launches video to encourage proprietors to remove barriers

Shuswap pet nutritionist, raw diet advocate to be featured in national magazine

Sicamous-based Deanna Larocque building reputation for canine support

BC RCMP notify IIO BC of incident involving police dog in Kelowna

A suspect and a police dog were taken to receive medical treatment after an incident on Aug. 1.

Wildfire burning out of control at Dry Lake near Princeton

Hot, dry conditions affecting containment efforts

Most Read