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Letter to the Editor - The budget has been passed and...

Letter to the Editor

The budget has been passed and just a few minor I’s need to be dotted and T’s crossed. 

I find it very interesting how the story is told from a platform of power how decisions have been justified. Our council has indicated that our past councils of the day took care of wants instead of needs. Our council has told us that they were not elected on a platform of zero per cent tax increases because that would be foolish and irresponsible, and I would agree with them. Everybody is facing cost of living increases, but we did expect them to at least make an effort to control spending. Our council has approved a $29,000 pay increase for our CAO. Did they need to do this or did they want to do this? Based on what I see this is totally irresponsible.

Council has told us that upper levels of government have reduced funding and I agree with them. In 2021 the provincial government recognized that municipalities needed help. They told us that they would increase OCI funding for the next five years and they did that. They also told us that over this same period of time they would reduce funding by a minimum of 15 per cent per year.

In other words, we're giving you more money in 2022 but every year moving forward this amount will be decreasing by at least 15 per cent. Was it foolish for our council not to plan for this funding change?

Council has told us that the 6.44 per cent change in the mill rate is really not this, it is 5.44 per cent. The reasoning is that if you take the weighted average rate increase of municipal, county and education, the net effect is a lower rate for us. So the county and education were able to control their spending and our council takes credit for it. 

I encourage all taxpayers to look at their 2024 final tax bill (July of this year) and note the difference in your total municipal levy, county levy and education levy and compare it to 2023. 

Its all about perception.

Rodger Hudson


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