EDITORIAL – In face of a big tax hike, zero-based budgeting is a must

(Image: Mel Rothenburger)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

HOW WOULD YOU LIKE to start a new job and have to tell the people who hired you they’ll need to pay more to run the business?

That’s what Kamloops City council is facing as it looks at a new inflation-crafted budget for next year. The finance department gave council a look at the 2023 provisional numbers yesterday and they don’t look pretty.

A lot of it has to do with the pandemic but a lot also has to do with rising costs of materials and services. Everything from road paint to fuel, insurance and labour contracts are up. Meanwhile, revenues are down.

The result? A projected 5.6 per cent budget hike.


Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops, former TNRD director and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the opinion website, and is a recipient of the Jack Webster Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (9510 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

2 Comments on EDITORIAL – In face of a big tax hike, zero-based budgeting is a must

  1. My hope is that our new Mayor applies some “business sense” to some of the things that have been happening over the years with spending and tax increases.
    No private business would survive for the long term given the type of spending practices seen by our municipality.

    As our population ages, are seniors on fixed incomes going to be expected to sacrifice more and more and more to support lavish spending practices with public money? Seniors have to get by with less and less as “everything” goes up in price. None of us can simply apply an increase to our income.

    What is the design philosophy for setting expenditures? Is the number from the previous year taken as a “gimme” and then a percentage added onto it? Are budgets spent or depleted to a zero balance near the end of a fiscal year? Is there an incentive for not spending an entire budget?

  2. To put under the microscope how the City operates has never been more urgent. It is not only the untold number of idling vehicles or the absurd procurement practices that need to be scrutinized…that death by a thousand cuts analogy comes to mind. We must enter a new era of financial scrutiny, responsibility and discipline.

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