taxes

Rural-urban divide?

Anyone looking at a map of the 2017 provincial election results has to notice the "beyond Hope" issue.  The interior of Britsh Columbia is largely represented by the Liberal party, whereas the urban areas of the lower mainland and island are represented by the NDP.

At the same time, Metro Vancouver is calling foul when it comes to school and property taxes.  Just a heads-up.

Issues: 

A walking tour of finances in Area F

I have posted a webinar "walking tour" of finances in Area F of the RDOS.  It is just under 30 minutes long and attempts to explain (for example) why our taxes are generally higher than those in Naramata:

 

This webinar follows-on from my previous video in which I looked at the 2017 Area F budget.

 

In both cases these are pretty amateur affairs based on my dashboarding tool, which can be found here if you wish to explore on your own:

Understanding the 2017 RDOS budget

One of the things I teach at Simon Fraser University is a course called Business Analytics.  Part of that course is the emerging field of "visual analytics", which is really just a fancy way of saying charts and graphs.  I personally am a big fan of charts and graphs and have been trying to create a tool to translate the massive RDOS budget into a series of pretty pictures.

RDOS proposal unfair tax policy (Conservation Fund)

The following letter was submitted to the Penticton Herald (link here).  I had something to do with the structure of the tax to support the Conservation Fund so I feel I should respond to some of the points Mr. Llewellyn raises.  My comments are bolded below.

Re: Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen’s proposed Bylaw No. 2690, 2016.

After spending 40 years dealing with property appraisal, assessment administration and tax policy issues the RDOS’s new tax on all of us is flawed. As a past president of the International Association of Assessing Officers, I strongly recommend every resident of the RDOS oppose the quiet introduction of this bylaw for the following reasons:

West Bench metered water rates

A study of potential approaches to metered water pricing was provided at the September 15th RDOS Environment and Infrastructure Committee meeting.  I extracted pages from my own marked-up copy of the board report:

West Bench water rate structure review

The consultant recommends a 30% variable + 70% fixed rate with a farm rate.  Public information sessions will be held on this issue in early November.  Standby for more information.

Neighborhoods: 

WBE Closure: Request for reconsideration

As noted in my update to the grant proposal, I was caught off-guard by the Board of Education's dismissal of the RDOS offer.  I assumed this was going to proceed in a very straightforward way:

  1. A rural school will not be considered for closure if it has a ~$150K grant
  2. The RDOS can raise such a grant for West Bench Elementary
  3. West Bench Elementary will not be considered for closure

 

West Bench Elementary School subsidy proposal

Update 30-31 March 2016:

I missed the SD67 meeting tonight because I help coach my daughters' volleyball on Wednesday nights.  All I know is that SD67 decided to close West Bench Elementary despite the subsidization proposal below (story in The Herald). Thanks to those who filled me in on the details at the meeting.

I have requested reconsideration as outlined in the follow-on post.


 

February 2016 Faulder Water Update

Just a follow-up to the February 2nd, 2016, meeting in the old Summerland library:  I have attached the two relevant pages for the 2016 Budget.  The first is the operating budget for the water utility.  It shows the revenues for the system, including the parcel tax ($136,390/79 = ~$1,726 per household).  The second is the "capital projects" budget, which is meant to be temporary (lasting for the duration of the capital project).  The capital budget shows the large amounts in (debt proceeds and grants) and the large amounts out (capital spending).  The "steady state" revenue and expenses are shown in the operating budget.

Issues: 
Neighborhoods: 

RDOS says no to lakeside trail from Penticton to Summerland

The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen has politely declined participation in a four-party master plan for a bike link between Penticton and Summerland along Highway 97.

The B.C. government proposed a study on a multi-use trail linking Trout Creek to Penticton with the cost being shared by the province, City of Penticton, RDOS and District of Summerland.

The master plan would cost $110,000, with each partner's share being $27,500. If approved, the trail would cost around $7.8 million.

Pages