Tulameen Recreation Tax

Those who pay property tax will have noticed an item named “Tulameen Recreation”. This was one of several taxation issues on the agenda at the last Coalmont Community Association meeting.

Brad Hope, our regional representative, was going to inquire about getting it removed and report back to us. No one appeared to know what this tax was for, and removing it seemed appropriate in an environment where Coalmont, like other small Area ‘H’ communities, is trying to maintain its identity. Unfortunately Bylaws are very difficult to remove and it turns out that what Coalmontians agreed to in 1999 is here to stay. In fact, that tax will double this year.

Do you know what it is for? Let’s have a look.

A bylaw to establish and operate the local service for pleasure, recreation and other community use, including art galleries, museums, historic sites, arenas, theatres, sports complexes and other public buildings or facilities for exhibition in a portion of Electoral Area “H” of the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen.

The mill rate for this tax was .0685 and the average assessment in this area is $235,000. Such a property would have paid $16 last year but would now pay $32. This can easily go up again, and no doubt will, but there are limits set in the Bylaw.

(it) shall not exceed the greater of $10,000 or twenty-two cents per thousand dollars of net taxable value of land and improvements in the Tulameen Recreation Service Area.

This service area is defined on a map. It starts with Bert’s field and goes up along the Tulameen river and through the Tulameen townsite to the far end, but not the sides, of Fremd lake. From Tulameen, the area also extends west for 6 kilometers along the river, including a large section north of that. A quick check confirms that the area is in fact defined by the same borders as the Tulameen fire district.

There are some curious aspects to this arrangement. The other side of the river at Coalmont is excluded. In fact there are a number of Coalmontians who avoid this tax. Also note that the historical Granite Creek townsite is not in the area. That is particularly interesting since this Bylaw was enacted at a time when the BC Government was discussing a tourist oriented development there. Our regional district would have known that.

The increase this year is to pay a small salary for someone to look after their arena and clean up the beach at Tulameen after the tourists have been there. Of course, being in the relevant service area, Coalmont can apply for some of this money too. However, the problem with that is it will make our taxes go up yet again.    §

2 thoughts on “Tulameen Recreation Tax”

  1. I realize this is not strictly about the Tulameen Recreation Tax, but it is related to taxation and what the RDOS helps to fund with our tax dollars. One of those items is Transit, there is supposed to be a bus service to Coalmont. I say supposed to be, because the following restrictions apply:

    1. Service to Coalmont is on Fridays, subject to room on the bus.

    2. They will not service Coalmont on a day when the bus is going to Penticton.

    3. The bus goes to Penticton on Fridays.

    4. The bus to Penticton gives priority to those with medical appointments, because is is always busy.

    Does anyone see any reason why, with the above situation in place, we should be paying towards Transit?

    Bob

  2. I can provide the Recreation tax info. When I was the Area H Director, there was a recreation tax collected by RDOS (and still is) on all properties located in Area H. Those $’s (at that time about $15000)were paid to the Town of Princeton for recreational programs provided by the Town – usually some type of summer programs and the pool operation. In discussion with some folks in Tulameen – who wanted some $’s to put on some recreational activities in the Tulameen area – it was decided to establish a “Recreation Tax for Tulameen area” that could be used locally and would benefit those from whom it was collected. It was not a large amount. Since it would be difficult to establish an actual service area, at that time we went with the area serviced by the Tulameen Fire Department as RDOS already had a list of those properties. At that time the community was to discuss each year what they wanted to fund (I think it may have been done thru the Community Club)and then provide their request to RDOS for inclusion in the budget. It was always intended for use in that service area. It by no means ever excluded Coalmont. Once this was established then that service area was excluded from paying the Recreation tax that the rest of Area H pays. It may have taken a bit of time before the original bylaw was amended to exclude the Tulameen Recreation Service area. Marg Reichert could probably provide you with further info and if you have a concern I suggest you contact the Tulameen Community Club to find out who establishes the budget each year. I would be willing to meet with you if you have further questions on how it was established.

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