PENTICTON – As the City of Penticton returned to pre-pandemic staffing levels, statistics show the municipality has the second lowest per capita municipal taxes among Okanagan communities with a population over 15,000 and is well below the provincial average.
“Municipalities are required to report a Statement of Financial Information which highlights employees that earn more than $75,000 per year,” says Elma Hamming, the City’s manager of finance. “This is an important step to ensure transparency and accountability, but it doesn’t illustrate the quality of life values these wages bring to Penticton such as water, sewer, roads, fire protection, policing, community safety, and parks and recreation.
“By comparing the municipal taxes on a per capita basis with other jurisdictions, we are able to determine if our taxation rate is reasonable for the services provided. The review shows that once again, ratepayers are getting value for money and quality service.”
The data shows that Penticton’s municipal taxes per capita comes in at $781, compared to the Provincial average of $1,012. The number is determined by total property taxation for the fiscal year divided by the 2022 Census figure.
In contrast, three out of four comparable Okanagan communities came in at a higher rate than Penticton.
- Lake Country – $956
- West Kelowna – $880
- Kelowna – $815
- Vernon – $757
These communities were selected as they have a population greater than 15,000, which is the threshold for paying 90 per cent of policing costs.
The Statement of Financial Information reports remuneration of the Mayor and Council, a listing of all employees who earned more than $75,000 last year and a roll of Suppliers of Goods and Services with total payments greater than $25,000.
Hamming notes a net total of 15 employees surfaced to the over $75,000 list – two from management, eight from CUPE and five from the IAFF. Fluctuations in the over/under $75,000 list includes cost-of-living increases, overtime changes, retirements and positions made vacant and replaced.
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