Vernon taxes increase

Vernon taxes will edge upwards in the new year.

Council has decided to increase the maximum tax hike for operations from 1.8 to 1.9 per cent in 2018.

“It adds $35,000 to the budget and we have an issue with homeless camps and we had to clean them up last year. There will also be cleanup expenses with the flooding,” said Coun. Brian Quiring, who made the motion to move operational taxes higher.

Opposition came from Coun. Bob Spiers.

“I don’t like any target other than inflation,” he said.

Council’s decision came after looking at the budget allocator process, which asked resident to provide feedback on their preferences for services provided by the city. Respondents were asked if they would increase, decrease or maintain funding for various services.

“There is a desire for increased services and they are willing to pay more for services. This is council listening to the public,” said Tanya Laing Gahr, communications officer.

The city’s allocator process received 112 responses from residents.

Along with the operational component of the budget, the city levies 1.9 per cent annually for infrastructure.