We will be unable to attend in person, but wanted to share our views on city staff’s proposal of a 3.36% increase in the city’s mill rate. We are unsupportive of such a high increase is city taxes. As an owner of a house near Exhibition Park, we’ve already experienced a recent increase in assessed value that is greater than the average in the city. Water rates have just been increased by 3.5% and electricity rates are set to increase.
As I am sure you will hear from numerous resident’s, an increase of 3.36% is not inline with increases in wages nor inflation, which is 1.2% Sept 2012 – Sept 2013. I urge you to question city staff as to why programming has remained stable, but costs have increased? Why is the recommended increase 2.1% higher than inflation?
My preference is to limit tax increases to no more than 2% per year. I support a reduction in services, layoffs, downsizing, limiting ‘incentives’ to builders, reducing bus service and alternative service delivery to achieve this rate. I recommend 2% per year because this is the average increase our wages have seen. While the city may be spending, we are not earning.
I hope you find this note helpful in your budgetary decision this fall. SM