Thursday, November 26, 2009

Fight City Hall

Could Nanaimo Learn From Dawson Creek?

The following appeared in the Canadian Taxpayer's Assoc. weblog and shows what can happen when ordinary citizens get together and tell City Hall 'enough is enough!'.

It could be that the majority of Nanaimo taxpayers are just too fat and happy to care if city council continues to raise taxes and come up with more creative ways to spend money.

Now is the time to get informed and see exactly how City Council with the help of city staff intend to keep increasing your taxes over the next five years!

The approach at city hall which I have observed and seems supported by all of council is to decide on how to spend money and then figure out how much more taxes they need to collect.

I suggest a refreshing approach could be to limit their spending to the existing level of taxation and not increase taxes at all.

Alas, that seems to be something this current council could never get it's mind around.

Do you think Nanaimo voters could ever get this council to say NO to anymore tax increases? Why not??

Fight City Hall -- and Win

A referendum in Dawson Creek shot down a $10 million municipal borrowing proposal, showing that it is possible to fight City Hall -- and win.

The City of Dawson Creek wanted the money to pay for improvements to paving, storm sewers and other infrastructure. Sounds reasonable -- until we ask -- what happened to the rest of the money the City collected in taxes?

Data put together by the Dawson Creek Ratepayers Association showed that homeowners and businesses in Dawson Creek pay twice the property taxes, pay municipal employees twice the benefits, and already have three times the per capita debt as similarly sized cities.

In fact, city expenditures per resident are higher than Vancouver's. Of the 157 municipalities in British Columbia, Dawson Creek sits in 11th spot for expenditures per resident, at $2,083 in 2006 (the last year for which data is available). Fort St. John, a neighbouring city, spends only $1,216 per person.

Citizens of the town said, enough it enough and forced the city to have a referendum on borrowing for yet more spending.

Sure, grandiose arenas and community centres and handouts to environmental groups are nice (or not), but should property taxpayers be on the hook to fund them?

Voters said NO to more borrowing. This is a victory for Dawson Creek property taxpayers.


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