Re: Tax increase will be mayor’s Achilles heel, Letters (June 20)
Firstly, that money also pays wages to School District 78 trustees. But, this is the way I see it.
An 11 per cent tax hike for one year may seem a little high, but over the last 10 years the average has only been 5.743 per cent which is reasonable. My personal living expenses (gas, hydro, natural gas, car insurance) have gone up probably closer to 10 per cent over that same time. The 2010 property taxes saw only a 1.11 per cent increase and in 2005, a barely audible 0.02 per cent.
I remember a time not too long ago when we had no bylaw officer, no town planner, no economic development officer, and things seemed stagnant. Today, I have had the pleasure of talking to our bylaw officer, who is always making his face (and truck) known in town. I have talked to the town planner, who has shared ideas about the expansion of the park area behind the Dan Sharrers Aquatic Centre. Good ideas, with good plans! Economic development has taken on a whole new look in Hope (only about 10 years late, but better late than never). What’s taken so long to get, if removed, could ultimately lead to Hope fading into the shadow of our mountains forever. You see, if there is no industrial or light industrial development, there is no tax base. If there is no tax base, then the residents have to make up those differences. Great examples of these industrial and light industrial are Flying J and Nestle Waters. Although they are controversial, they create jobs, those people rent/own homes and pay property tax. At the same time, the large land and adjacent properties are faced with taxes.
In order to “take back our town and lower taxes” go speak to your federal MP. Take your fight to Ottawa. Federal government is more responsible for infrastructure (roads, sewers, services), hospital, RCMP and need to be providing our municipality (along with countless others) with appropriate funds for that. Instead, Mr. Harper insists on wasting money and taking our country to a record $56-billion deficit. For what? War? His own campaign? Certainly not roads or the town of Hope.
Finally, what does getting a doctor in Hope have to do with council? Or an ambulance getting lost? Or slow police? Again, these are issues for your local MLA or MP.
We have a hospital that’s open, garbage that gets picked up (with recycling that I don’t have to sort), beautiful walking trails for my dogs, my kids, my family and my friends. We have clean rivers and lakes, and water that you can drink out of a tap in your home. I didn’t have any trouble this winter getting to work, my roads were plowed and sanded. When I had a sewer cap issue, the District of Hope had someone out to fix it permanently within only a few hours.
To suggest that no one in a town pay their taxes is ridiculous. If that happens, you’ll be hoping you have chickens and pigs for protection and old car bodies to hide behind.