Regional Council Update – February 28, 2019

This month at Regional Council, Council debated and ultimately approved the 2019 budget. After months of work by Regional staff, Council was presented with a budget with a proposed tax levy increase of 2.96%. And subsequent to that, was presented with a request to further increase the levy by an additional 1% for an accelerated roads levy. While I did vote in favour of the budget with the 2.96% proposed increased, I was not in favour of the additional 1% hit to the residents pocketbooks. Yes, the 1% addition to the levy could provide a source of or revenue stream to increase funds available for road growth projects; however, I believe there is a better way to do it. There is a better way to find the funds necessary to accelerate road growth projects than just simply increasing the tax levy and asking taxpayers to pay extra tax. For example, the funds could come from the Asset Management Reserve. Funds borrowed from this reserve would not impact the tax levy; would not require residents to pay an additional tax this year. The recommendation to add an additional 1% to the Regional tax levy did pass 16-3, with Mayor Taylor, Regional Councillor Hamilton and myself opposed. As a result of this vote, the 2019 Regional tax levy is set at 3.96%.. Here is what I said at Regional Council….

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3 Responses

  1. Thanks for sharing Tom. We’re thete responses to your comments about exhausting all options va simply adding an additional 1% tax? What were they? Can the decision to add 1% be reversed if a viable option is presented. Aside from the reserve, what other options do you believe exist? Do you have supports in council meeting to explore them?

    Your insight/feedback will be appreciated.

    Thanks again for your efforts and contribution to our community!

    Regards,
    Gail Nealon

  2. Can the minutes of this meeting be publicized so the general population is aware of the easy way of the council just to download on the taxpayers. Has anyone considered the impact of such increases on retired and fixed income taxpayers. What was the objection to the suggestion put forward by some of trying alternative sources of financing, laziness or lack of creative thinking?

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