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City of Vernon tax increase climbs further

Vernon’s financial plan is in a state of flux.

Just a couple of weeks after approving a 4.2 per cent tax increase, city council gave the green light to a 4.7 per cent hike Monday to reflect some new items.

“We were clarifying two issues because we didn’t have all of the information,” said Mayor Rob Sawatzky.

Adjustments have been made to reflect actuals for the cost of living and an annual fee paid by Fortis for gas lines in the community. The budget will also see $40,000 for firefighter training remain.

A 4.7 per cent increase translates into an additional $53 in taxes for the average home. Of the total, 1.9 per cent is designated for future infrastructure.

With the budget reopened Monday, Coun. Bob Spiers is hoping other changes can be made before the final document is approved.

“Other items were over-budgeted for,” said Spiers, adding that the core services review could identify further savings.

“I always want to see something lower.”

Sawatzky isn’t sure if the budget can be trimmed further.

“We will see if Councillor Spiers brings forward ideas that are sustainable reductions,” said Sawatzky.

 

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