June 24th, 2024

Oppressive taxation by city

By Letter to the Editor on July 5, 2018.

As reported in the media, Medicine Hat city council is going to fatten up the Heritage Savings Account to become the second largest reserve account it has, while at the same time talking of increasing municipal taxes by seven per cent yearly?

Really? Do the numbers. A seven-per-cent yearly increase equates to doubling present day taxes through compounding in approximately 10 years. That sounds very unappealing to every local taxpayer that I have spoken to. Once in place, taxes never go down.

Plan B would have been a new utility fee that would generate $6.3 million per year. Likewise very unappealing.

You save money for future when you have extra money or spare money. The city has blown through $70 million from reserve funds since 2015. There is no extra money now for a Heritage Savings Account. Some of the programs that were added when the city was bringing in $90 million annually from the Energy Division are now simply no longer affordable. Some programs will have to be dropped starting now. Obviously this should have happened in 2015 instead of kicking the can down the road.

City council must learn to say “no.” Cut the fat or extras and let the chips fall where they may. There is a difference between what you want and what you really need.

The moral of the story: You can please some of the people some of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.

John MacLaren

Medicine Hat

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