Kelowna City Council endorsed the City’s 2023 carryover budget requests at its regular meeting Monday.
The 2023 budget carryovers include $237.3 million in operating and capital expenditures for projects that were unable to be completed in 2022 or that are multi-year projects set for completion within the next few years. These include the airport improvement program, Rutland Centre sewer connection project, Mill Creek Flood Projection project and Highway 97 pedestrian overpass.
Budget carryover projects do not add to the current year’s taxation demand, as they are funded through the previous year’s council-approved budget.
“The total 2023 preliminary budget is $528.6 million,” said Melanie Antunes, Financial Planning Manager, City of Kelowna. “Of that, the gross taxation demand is $175.1 million. Typically, 25 per cent of the City’s operating and capital costs will come from annual taxation. Other revenue sources include reserves, grants, and income from user fees including those from self-funding business units, such as Kelowna International Airport, the City’s water utility and solid waste operation.”
Based on the average value single-detached home in Kelowna, in December as part of the 2023 preliminary budget, council approved an $86.88 increase to property taxes. The 3.80 per cent – or $7.24 per month – increase includes the introduction of a one-per-cent public safety levy to fund the addition of six new RCMP members, four firefighters and four bylaw officers. City taxes are only one portion of a property tax bill, which also includes amounts the City collects on behalf of the province, Central Okanagan Regional District, and school and library levies.
The 2023 preliminary budget priorities include:
- Financial prudence amid inflation to keep the tax demand increase as low as possible
- Protecting existing infrastructure and planning for the future
- Crime and safety to reduce risk, vulnerability and harm in the community
- Social wellness to address challenges related to homelessness and affordable housing
- Transportation to help keep Kelowna moving now and into the future
- Digital transformation to improve operational efficiency, safeguard information, and make doing business with the City faster and easier
- Protecting Kelowna’s natural environment and addressing climate action through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions
There are three stages of the City’s annual budget process: preliminary budget in December, carryovers in March and the final budget that will be presented on April 24, 2023. At that time, council will consider the final budget for adoption, including setting the final taxation demand increase.