By Letter to the Editor on June 18, 2020.
With the new report released by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation it is evident that Medicine Hat does not have only a revenue problem but also a very big spending problem. Medicine Hat is listed as No. 1 in municipal spending per resident and Lethbridge is No. 3. To demonstrate how severe this is, Medicine Hat spends 74 per cent more than Lethbridge. Taxpayers are often told how council and city admin are doing their best to reduce spending and find cost savings. Despite these claims however, we have seen no admin and staff wage reductions. While industry is instituting wage role backs of up to 50 per cent for executives and staff, the city is doing nothing with our (Natural Gas and Petroleum Resources) division wages. To date we have only seen reduction of front-line workers due to COVID-19. Taxpayers should also be aware that the four per cent tax hike canceled for this year will be back next year with an additional four per cent for an eight per cent increase next year.
The only way the city has reduced the tax hike is by taking from our savings and those are dwindling fast. With the city facing major revenue stress in the upcoming year, such as Canalta, NGPR and even reduced revenue for the power unit action needs to start now.