Vernon taxpayers can expect a 2.55 per cent increase for 2021. (File photo)

Vernon scales back 2021 tax increase

Pause of infrastructure levy program reduces burden on taxpayers

Vernon taxpayers won’t be forking over quite as much as originally anticipated.

The proposed 4.47 per cent tax increase is being scaled back to 2.55 per cent for 2021.

City council made the decision during budget deliberations Monday, Nov. 30, and Tuesday, Dec. 1.

READ MORE: Vernon budget opens for public input

The 2.55 per cent increase includes a 1.79 per cent annual operating budget increase and a 0.76 per cent addition to the operating budget for service level adjustments (SLA).

“The SLAs put forward this year include a number of programs or services that have previously been funded by one-time monies and aren’t necessarily new services. This is just a change in how the programs or services are funded on an ongoing basis,” the city’s communications manager Christy Poirier said.

Council voted Monday to pause the 10-year, 1.9 per cent cumulative Infrastructure Levy Program for one year. The program is expected to resume in 2022, and be extended to 2023 in order to fulfil the 10-year program strategy.

“With council’s direction, staff went back and modified the 2021 capital plan to reduce the overall budget by approximately $820,000,” Poirier said. “Staff adjusted funding and scope of work for a total of three upcoming capital projects, but no projects are expected to be cancelled due to the adjustments.”

READ MORE: Vernon sets sights on 4.47 per cent tax increase

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