Regional District of North Okanagan building inspection taxes unpopular

There appears to be little appetite among politicians to keep building inspection on the tax roll.

Regional District of North Okanagan directors are moving ahead with changes so the building inspection department is more cost-effective. While taxes are being used this year to cover costs, it is unlikely such a formula will be pursued during 2013.

“Taxation should be one of the last resorts,” said director Shirley Fowler.

RDNO recently approved $150,000 in taxes in 2012 to support building inspection, which has seen building permit revenue decline during the recession.

A 2011 staff report suggested that a taxation level be established at three, six and 10 per cent of the building department’s gross budget for 2012, 2013, 2014 and beyond respectively.

“We’re throwing numbers out there, not knowing if we need it or not,” said director Mike Macnabb.

Director Howie Cyr also stated that taxation is premature at this point given the other actions the board is taking.

Director Eugene Foisy has threatened to pull Cherryville out of building inspection if taxation continues beyond 2012.

“We don’t want the wild west out there (with construction) but it needs to make sense,” he said of funding the service.

Among the steps RDNO will take is trying to improve communications with residents to reduce the number of building infractions.

There will also be escalating fines for repeat infractions.

All communities participate in the RDNO service except for Vernon and Coldstream, which have their own functions.



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