Village rejects new inspection tax

Lumby joins likes of Spallumcheen and Armstrong in opposition to RDNO building inspection taxation plan

Lumby is not interested in increasing taxes to cover the cost of building inspection services.

The Regional District of North Okanagan, which provides the building inspection service to jurisdictions outside of Vernon and Coldstream, is proposing to shift its revenue model from fees to taxation.

“It’s a one per cent tax increase for Lumby with nothing else added,” said Mayor Kevin Acton, adding that his council voted Monday not to support such a move at RDNO.

Regional district officials say a new funding structure is required because a downturn in construction has led to a decrease in building permit fees. However, Acton insists other approaches must be considered.

“We should be steering towards user-pay because that’s a fair system,” he said of developers paying for the services they receive through permit fees.

Acton also says RDNO may need to increase some fees, such as those for building non-compliance, and there may need to be changes within the building inspection department.

“Maybe it needs to go down to a one man show for now,” he said of staffing.

“I know there are places where they can find efficiencies.”

RDNO board members will discuss the taxation proposal at their meeting today.