Penticton’s tax rates are once again moving in favor of residential property owners, but any savings will be offset by assessment increases.
Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to set the 2022 business tax multiplier at 2.14, up from 1.91 in 2021.
That means the average property tax bills for both residential and business properties will increase by 5.7%. That will lift the average homeowner’s bill to $ 1,883 and the average business owner’s bill to $ 9,108.
The multiplier is used to adjust the balance between how much of the city’s overall tax requisition is paid by owners of residential and commercial properties. It’s based on the assumption that owners of commercial properties, which are expected to generate revenue, can handle more of the burden. A multiplier of 2.0 means that for every $ 1 in tax paid by a residential property owner a commercial property owner pays $ 2.
The multiplier declined from 2009 to 2016 as past councils sought to make the city more attractive to businesses, and has been slowly rising since then in step with the current council’s plan to gradually push it to 2.0.
But due to major assessment increases this year that saw the average single-family home gain 33% in value, combined with lesser increases for commercial properties, a 2.0 multiplier would still shift the tax burden onto residential properties.
“I do not think any one of the residential taxpayers will be happy with that,” said Coun. Frank Regher, who has been the most vocal proponent of raising the BTM.
Mayor John Vassilaki, whose family has large real estate holdings, agreed.
“I’ll be shooting myself in the foot, but I think it’s probably the fairest thing to do under the circumstances with the financial difficulties everybody’s having in our community,” Vassilaki said.