Budget process begins

Council will hold 2016 budget sessions today, Thursday and Friday starting at 9 a.m.

Vernon residents can have a say on how the city spends their money.

Council will hold 2016 budget sessions today, Thursday and Friday starting at 9 a.m., with public input at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. today, 4:15 p.m. Thursday and 10:30 a.m. Friday.

“I would hope those interested will go through the budget and suggest ways to reduce it,” said Coun. Bob Spiers.

City administration is suggesting a 3.7 per cent tax hike, which would include 1.8 per cent for operations and a statutory 1.9 per cent designated for infrastructure.

Coun. Brian Quiring believes the proposed tax increase is reasonable.

“It’s a good goal and we should be able to achieve it,” he said.

“No one likes paying taxes but the community needs services.”

The 2015 property tax increase was 3.43 per cent.

During the three-day budget session, council will receive information from each city division, including the RCMP, fire department, bylaw compliance, operations, parks, recreation, tourism and economic development.