Council won’t tax for park funds

Spallumcheen wants no part of taxation to fund a regional parks legacy program

If a regional parks legacy fund is created by the Regional District of North Okanagan, the Township of Spallumcheen wants no part of taxation to help fund it.

RDNO’s board of directors endorsed a feasibility study on the matter in 2013, and a number of talks have taken place over the past two years in regards to establishing a fund with varying levels of interest and support.

“Ultimately, this will equal a new service and if there’s no money to run it, I don’t think it’s going to happen,” said Andrew Casson, a Spallumcheen councillor.

A consensus matrix was developed in May 2015 to determine if there is enough interest from the North Okanagan’s municipalities  that would allow continued discussions.

The matrix consists of a series of questions, one of which read “If there is general support/areas of shared interest (within the first questions), what funding mechanisms are you in support of?”

Spallumcheen council unanimously rejected two answers dealing with taxation, either through a parcel tax or taxation based on property tax assessment values.

Council’s preference would be funding through no taxation but have the ability to accep donations/gifts of land and develop partnerships with non-government organizations.

The first question asks if municipalities are interested in five activities for a regional parkland legacy.

Council unanimously supported four of the five choices: regionally significant parkland acquisition; regionally significant trail acquisition; Crown land grants, leases and purchases; and bequeathed parkland.

Council’s answers will be forwarded to RDNO.