Property tax increases should be frozen

Here’s hoping mayor and councillors will do a Wal-Mart rollback

Re: Tax increase will be mayor’s Achilles heel, Letters (June 20)

Pat Furness’ letter so articulately stated the unfairness of a huge property tax increase on residents and businesses.

Our business friend pays such a high tax he told us he has had businesses all over the Lower Mainland and never paid as much as here. She asks what the city planner is “planning.” That is our question as well.

The city planner’s job seems to be more along the lines of rebuffing the efforts of citizens for example, our recent debacle involving the Community Garden greenhouse wherein much beaurocratic verbiage was spent on telling us why a perfectly good greenhouse could not be erected – something to do with planning needing to be done again by a local engineer. Thankfully, it finally happened, with help from a “higher” power we’re unsure of, but rest assured it was not district hall.

These highly paid experts at district hall rely on our ignorance. Pat Furness, I agree that we as a citizenry need to unite and address this “Emperor With No Clothes.” We want to see improvements and help for the taxed to death citizenry.

The mayor had better invest in some more good quality trailer courts because at this rate, we’ll need them.

I believe the “elephant in the room,” is a highly paid group of experts (not our municipal elected officials) and it’s time to be realistic. We the citizens of Hope would like some accountability!

Does the average Joe or Josephine really comprehend this new “brand” endeavour promoted by district hall? Is this what you do all day? You tell us to come to the meetings but we don’t have the time nor inclination for meetings because we lack time and because it smells kind of “off” to most people. Even we, the retired folks, have to find extra income so no time to sit and blab about our vision for Hope. Keep it simple – reduce public employees, put money into beautifying our streets, storefronts and sidewalks, that kind of thing.

A local realtor explained that taxes increase everywhere in all districts. Isn’t 34.86 per cent a bit much with nothing visible?

Check out the pothole on Third Avenue in front of District Hall. Our streets as she mentioned, are a disgrace. A store owner, fairly new to Hope, asked if they had a public works crew as he has never seen anyone working on the streets. We replied that we often see the same friendly man doing various jobs.

We have potholes, shabby storefronts and little evidence of input from these huge taxes. Rumour has it this increase will pay for the vision of a building for our RCMP, firefighters and the like.

Here’s hoping mayor and councillors will do a Wal-Mart rollback and decide to eliminate tax increases for at least three years and use the present taxes to do some “kitchen work” like road repairs and painting storefronts, as downtown Langley did.

Ruth, Jack and Carol Renwick,

Hope

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