By Bruce Holland, Publisher
Recently, I received an e-mail from a colleague and in the header, it said Death and Taxes. Well needless to say it caught my attention. Now there is a lot of truth in that old saying, “the only thing you can be sure of in this life is death and taxes!”
However, when it comes to taxes it is more common to talk about how much taxes are enough as apposed to should there be any. I think even the most ardent tax haters out there will agree we need a certain level of public services, whether it be roads or healthcare, or snow plowing or street lights.
This is a timely opportunity to discuss this issue as our HRM Municipal Council is in the process of developing the next budget for our fine City. They have resolved to increase the budget to deal with issues related to “climate change”, by 4% I believe. There can be no doubt that we need to respond to climate change, but it is how the Councill has chosen to do it and the timing of raising taxes to spend large sums of taxpayer’s dollars at a time when inflation is so high and we are on the verge of a recession.
The other side of this coin is the timing of increasing taxes to spend on multi-million dollar capital projects, which may or may not be necessary at this time. This list of capital projects is long and comprehensive. Council is poised to raise your taxes to spend hundreads of millions of your tax dollars on projects that may very well be put off for a year or two, until inflation levels off.
This kind of “we know what’s best for you” attitude was evident in British Columbia in recent years and the people of British Columbia spoke up with their votes in October and voted out 80% of the incumbent Municipal Councillors across the province, including most of the Mayors.
I could go on about the state of the Municipalities commercial tax structure, which some organizations have been trying to rationalize for over 12 years, but I won’t.
What I would like to ask is how are you feeling about your current level of municipal taxes and the services you get in return? Are you getting value for your money? Do you have ideas about how it could be spent more efficiently?
If you have some thoughts on this, drop me a line or two, at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Photo by Tara Winstead: https://www.pexels.com/photo/black-calculator-on-the-table-7111546/