Westbank First Nation (WFN) Council gave final approval to the 2019-2020 annual budget on Monday, March 25.
Prior to WFN Council approval, the local government and property tax budget was reviewed and accepted by the WFN Advisory Council, which represents the more than 9,000 residents on WFN lands.

In 2019, property taxation revenues will total $15.4 million, a 6.0% increase over 2018. With average gross taxes up $67, or 3.6%, 4496 taxable residents will pay an average of $1,345 after WFN’s Homeowner Grant.

WFN property taxes pay for the following services:
Protective services (fire protection, law enforcement) $2.5 M
Local services (transit, regional parks, community centres, library) $2.3 M
Recreation and youth programs $0.6 M
Financial reserves (capital project and contingency reserves) $2.2 M
Community development (engineering, planning, public works) $1.7 M
General government (administration, governance, finance) $4.8 M
Homeowner Grants $1.9 M

For 2019, BC Assessment showed a 3.27% growth rate in new construction on WFN lands, totalling $61.07 million. Market values increased total assessments a further 6.55%. Total residences increased from 4,361 in 2018 to 4,496 in 2019. Combined with approximately 480 businesses, assessed taxable property on WFN lands totals $2.05 billion, ranking WFN approximately 58th among the 162 registered municipalities in British Columbia.

Property tax notices will be mailed in late May, and the final deadline for payment without penalty is July 2, 2019. Residents on WFN lands are also welcome to attend the Advisory Council Annual General Meeting scheduled for May 1 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. in the sənsisyustən House of Learning Gymnasium, 1920 Quail Lane, Westbank, for an annual update from Chief Roxanne Lindley and Advisory Council Chairperson Terry Turcan.