Regional Board Approves Financial Plan

North Westside Parks Gas Tax Funded Projects

  • Dog Beach Fencing $ 5,000
  • Picnic Shelter – Killiney Beach $150,000
  • Comfort Station – Fintry Beach $ 18,000

The RDCO Board approved the 2020 Budget on Mar 23 2020 at the Monday night meeting. To listen to this or any Agenda Item relevant to EA West Residents and discussed in the Public portion of the RDCO Board, Governance & Services Meetings on my RDCO BOARD AUDIO CLIPS PAGE. All the meeting since I was elected are there in chronological order  with a link to all agenda documents straight from the RDCO web site just organized for our electoral areas issues.

Media  Wayne Moore  Yesterday • 9:00 PM Regional district approves its 2020-2024 financial plan (Regional Districts differ from municipalities because they don’t have just one tax rate. The Central Okanagan…)

Kelowna Daily Courier  Ron Seymour  Yesterday • 9:33 PM Mayors dial in to CORD  oboard meeting due to pandemic (Services provided by the regional district include waste management, 911, dog control and economic…)

RDCO News Release

March 25, 2020

Regional Board Approves Financial Plan

The 2020 – 2024 Financial Plan has been approved by the Regional District of Central Okanagan Board.

The 2020 RDCO budget totals just over $55.99-million compared with $58.92-million in 2019.

Board Chair Gail Given says, “This is the first time that our Board has passed a budget in such uncertain times.  The budget was drafted before the currently evolving COVID-19 pandemic and by proceeding we can ensure that we are able to continue delivering all our services and especially the essential ones that residents require during these dynamic times.”

“Considering the changing and unusual public health emergency that we find ourselves in,” she says “there may be times in the coming year when we need to revisit and adapt the Financial Plan in order to best respond to the needs of our communities.  This might require adjustments to reflect the financial changes and grants that are available from the federal and provincial governments, supporting the COVID-19 response.”

In this budget an estimated $12.5-million in important Capital and infrastructure improvements are proposed. Since 2009 the Regional District has spent more than $95.6-million on Capital projects by using reserves and leveraging grants to complete those projects.  At the end of 2019 there was only $4.5-million in outstanding capital debt compared with $6.9-million in 2018.

The Regional District does not collect taxes directly.  It requisitions funds from each local government on behalf of their residents and the Province which collects property taxes in each Electoral Area. The RDCO is conscious of the financial impacts COVID-19 is having on all governments.

The tax impacts for general services on the average home that was assessed at $741,000 in 2019 are shown below.  Market value increases varied by area from 2019 to 2020.  The actual tax rate varies from neighbourhood to neighbourhood and municipality, depending on the local services provided by the Regional District.



House Value


Total Tax per House


Net Incr / (Decr) on the home from 2019
Kelowna $730,000 $182.22 ($1.63)
Peachland $736,500 $214.08 $2.28
Lake Country $749,500 $214.98 $6.29
West Kelowna $735,000 $203.57 $0.88
C.O. West $748,000 $677.36 $39.65
C.O. East $752,000 $547.25 $33.67


If a home went up or down by more than the average market value, the owner will pay more or less than the numbers estimated.

Regional Districts differ from municipalities because they don’t have just one tax rate. The Central Okanagan regional district has more than 80 individual services provided and paid for by different combinations of taxpayers.

The member municipalities of Kelowna, Lake Country, Peachland and West Kelowna receive a basket of 18 – 20 general regional services such as Economic Development, Regional Parks, Dog Control, 9-1-1 and Regional Rescue/Emergency Planning.  These services account for a relatively small share of the total average tax bill for property owners ranging from just over $182 in Kelowna to almost $215 in Lake Country.

The Regional District is also the local government for residents in the two electoral areas providing them with 28 general services such as Fire Prevention, Planning, Community Parks, Building Inspection and Bylaw Enforcement.  These services account for average taxes of $547.25 for property owners in the Central Okanagan East Electoral Area and $677.36 for those in the Central Okanagan West Electoral area.  A decrease in requisitions for Transportation Demand Management has partially offset increases for Electoral Area Planning, Electoral Area Governance and Regional and Community Parks.

Specific communities within the electoral areas also fund additional services received from four paid-on-call fire departments, three community halls and six water systems that connect almost 1,000 properties.

The Westbank First Nation (WFN) also receives several services from the Regional District such as Regional Parks, Regional Rescue, Economic Development and the Okanagan Basin Water Board.  Cost sharing for Regional District services is based on the assessed value of properties in accordance with a service agreement.

The Central Okanagan Regional Hospital District (CORHD) Five Year Financial Plan was also adopted.  Each year, ratepayers within the Hospital District contribute up to 40% of the funds for approved capital and equipment services.  The 2020 budget includes $10.5-million in capital project funding.  Hospital Board Chair Given says, “Our priorities and those identified by Interior Health were based on pre-COVID-19 conditions.  These priorities may require some flexibility and adjustments to reflect the realities of the response to the virus.  Now, more than ever, we recognize the critical importance of health services in our community.”

Interior Health has advised it anticipates between $55 and $65-million in large capital projects over the next ten years.  Given says, “In order to build financial reserves and reduce the potential need for debt financing, the hospital board has agreed to annual three per cent increases over the next five years.  That means in 2020 the average household will contribute $188.86 (up $5.51 from 2019) towards capital improvements and new health equipment in the Central Okanagan.  With this additional investment, we will be able to fund the proposed capital projects in 2021 from reserves and without any additional borrowing.  This includes a new parkade for Kelowna General Hospital.”

Central Okanagan property owners may be eligible for the Provincial Homeowner Grant.  Information will be available on your Property Tax Notice or you can visit the Ministry of Finance website:

Some property owners may qualify for assistance through the BC Property Tax Deferment Program.  Information about this program and who qualifies is available on the BC Government website:

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  1. Please explain how a gazebo can cost us taxpayers $150,000 . Outrageous to say the least, has ALL common sense left the building again? Do you think this is a fair price. If so , then your house should be worth 10 million???? Taxpayers getting hosed again. Nice to see more signage at the beach park taking up precious parking spots.

    • I am as outraged as you are with this price. The NWCA has a quote closer to 80K we are hoping to use, still more than it would cost the community to put up but we no longer are able to do community driven projects due to the RDCO Purchasing Policy. In the past this community has done projects like this and larger such as the fire hall at Shorts Creek, renovations to Station 101, the community notice boards, the Library building, boat launch at Killiney Beach and the street light on Udell for the School Bus stop for a few examples. For another example when I was the fire chief of NWFR I confidently budgeted 30k for a boathouse that eventually cost closer to 130k after I had left the Department and the Purchasing Policy was enforced. This RDCO purchasing policy is typically used by municipalities far larger than the North Westside and does nothing but cause a small community money as it does not allow residents to plan, manage and build the infrastructure they want at a cost they can afford. I know that most of the local contractors will not even submit a bid for local projects run through the RDCO purchasing policy as they feel they have not been treated fairly by this Policy in the past, projects seem to go to Kelowna based companies(Westshore Park development & improvements, Westshore & Killiney water system renewal projects, Killiney Beach restoration, etc).

      The RDCO Board is dominated by large municipalities and it tries to emulate their governance models. As the RDCO Board is overwhelmingly composed of appointed municipal directors that control the Chair Position (Kelowna 51 out of the 53 year history), agenda (Chair determines) and votes (11 out of 13) on issues within our community even though those Directors do not pay for or participate in the local services provided to the electoral areas they are voting on. The Electoral Areas have neither the population (tax base) nor in many cases the same needs as the municipalities but our Governance is controlled by the majority vote of the Board.

      I have supported the current and past NWCA bid for a Governance Study to determine the cost and ramifications of the North Westside moving forward in its desire for local Governance. This study would provide the North Westside with both costing and modeling to determine if there is a better path for us as an incorporated community that would allow for affordable self governance over our local services and where and how our tax dollars are spent. Unfortunately the Board Chair a Councillor from the city of Kelowna has blocked all attempts to move forward with a Governance Study including arbitrarily dening a Delegation Request by NWCA to speak to the full Board for support for this Provincially funded Study for our community. For more information subscribe to the NWCA emails where current information such as this is distributed to the community.

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