Taxpayers deserve better explanation for increase

Just because a budget has been passed does not mean that council cannot direct staff and programs to exercise restraint

It is absolutely galling to be told by our council that we will have an average 5.1 per cent increase in municipal taxes.

Moreover, Coun. Tara  Ney’s response (Letter to Editor May 22) is simply inadequate. A quick calculation tells us the higher tax rates will raise (roughly $155 X 6,000 homes) an additional $930,000 – year after year. Business taxes will raise yet even more funds.  Surely the new planner and HR manager salaries will not cost us that much?  We are left to ponder what programs council considered to be cut but were not? If not, why not? We are also left to ponder exactly what are the “staff-recommended increases for operations and infrastructure”.  Tell us. It’s council’s responsibility to hold the tax line – staff only recommend.

Statistics Canada pegs Victoria’s CPI at one per cent; Oak Bay’s auditors report that previously, taxes have increased at an average of 3.8 per cent;  and now in 2015 we have an average 5.1 per cent increase.

Who has received a five per cent income increase that can offset tax rises. At this rate our taxes will double within 15 years.

Taxpayers deserve more than a letter to the editor.  Nothing short of a full, complete and easily understood explanation should be prominent on the municipal website – after all we are paying for “technological support to build and maintain a web page and use social media to engage and communicate with citizens more openly and efficiently” [ref Coun. Ney’s letter]. Remember, this does not include Oak Bay’s sewer and water levies.

Just because a budget has been passed does not mean that council cannot direct staff and programs to exercise restraint. They should.

Rick Lee

Oak Bay

 

Just Posted

Victoria Women’s March draws hundreds

Pink pussy hats aplenty as demonstrators took to downtown streets

Oak Bay Council agenda at a glance

Regional Transportation Service, major reserve funds, and Oak Bay Heritage on tonight’s agenda

Backyard of $2.2M Uplands property bulldozed for BMX jump track

34-year-old financial advisor fulfills childhood dream

School fence damaged by soaring sailboat

One boat owner advised, Transport Canada responsible for second boat

Backyard of $2.2M Uplands property bulldozed for BMX jump track

34-year-old financial advisor fulfills childhood dream

VIDEO: Fuel truck and train collide in B.C. causing massive fire

More emergency crews are still arriving on scene of a massive fire at the Port Coquitlam rail yard.

Back to work: U.S. government shutdown ends after Democrats relent

Short-term spending measure means both sides could see another shutdown stalemate in three weeks

Man lives despite malfunctioning defibrillator at B.C. arena

A middle-aged man went into cardiac arrest after at game at Pitt Meadows Arena last Wednesday.

Reynolds, Edward Milne capture titles at Esquimalt hoops tournament

Host Dockers take fourth in senior girls draw

Cause of Northern B.C. seaplane crash released

TSB releases report on seaplane crash during a water landing in 2016 near First Nations community

Vancouver police crack down on pop-up pot vendors

Officers raided merchants’ tables on Robson Square late Sunday

Bell Media, NFL take appeal over Super Bowl ad rules to top court

At issue is a ban on substituting American ads with Canadian ones during the game’s broadcast

Crown seeks 4.5 years jail for B.C. woman convicted of counselling tax evasion

Debbie Anderson the latest from group to face jail for teaching debunked ‘natural person’ theory

Most Read