The new Vernon council will face a major dilemma as soon as they are elected this fall.
The City is facing operational cost increases of over 2 million dollars in 2019, which translates to a 5.4 percent tax increase.
Financial Planning Manager Aaron Stuart says part of that is salary and wage increases worth about $760,000, or a 2% increase.
“All in all, what this is showing is that there are a lot of cost pressures on the organization,” says Stuart.
New fire equipment, MSP/Health employer tax fees, and transit expansion are also adding to the costs.
With the annual 1.9% infrastructure levy the city has charged the last few years, that would up the tax hike to 7.3%.
Councillor Brian Quiring has asked staff to find out what that means in actual dollars per home.
“It’s sometimes nice to have a bit of a number rolling around in your head, just to get a sense, so that when we defend this to the public, we can do it intellectually. So that’s the only reason, because I can see there is going to be some push back,” said Quiring.
The new council will have to decide if they want to use some of the 2.2 million dollars in RCMP reserves, to offset some of the tax hike.