As a generic example of the sunshine tax, it would not be unusual for someone moving to Kelowna to find the same job with the same responsibilities and job pressures to garner a wage of only 60% to 85% of what they would have received for the same job in their previous community. The main exceptions would be for jobs that have very specific and difficult-to-find requirements, and which would usually garner high wages to begin with.
The term sunshine tax has also been used in a similar fashion for employment conditions in and around San Diego, California; although to a lesser extent in both prevalence as well as history.
A number of studies done in the Kelowna area (as of December 2007) have estimated the “New Okanagan Minimum Wage” to be around $15/hr (also published in Okanagan Life Magazine, 2007). This is based on average rents and the general cost of living for a single unattached individual with no dependents, and represents the minimum that employers should pay employees to ensure that they remain well-motivated and dedicated.
Unfortunately, the majority of service-level jobs are still well beneath this level, with few exceeding $11/hr. As such, many businesses are currently experiencing a major employee shortage, as few people (aside from those whose needs are subsidized, such as teenagers living at home) are able to accept these low wages.