Leaner governance

I read with interest your article on the increases that the city is proposing for home taxes in Parksville

I read with interest your article on the increases that the city is proposing for home taxes in Parksville. The city’s financial plan suggests that revenue from property taxes in 2017 will be $13 million. By increasing property taxes, this revenue is projected to increase to $16.3 million in 2021. This is equivalent to an over 25 per cent increase over the four-year period.

It seems interesting to me that we are not hearing more public concern over the city’s financial plans for its residents. Where else would an institution be able to give itself a more than six per cent per year increase in funding?

It would also appear that the city’s other funding revenue taken from its residents’ pockets has been following a similar path over the past few years: utility bills. For interest sake I looked at my own utility bills since I purchased my home here in 2009. There has been an increase of over 50 per cent in seven years.

Like most residents, I take pleasure in the privilege of residing in a country that ensures that I have clean, abundant water, that I can rely on the sewer system, and that recycling is a norm; and I am willing to pay fairly for this privilege. However, I have concerns if I, like my other fellow Parksville residents, are being unfairly taxed for an increase in services to supply future growth in the area. I moved to Parksville to live in a quiet, small ‘city’ where I can enjoy a peaceful retirement. I, for one, do not want further growth; the roads are already too congested.  My question is: why would I agree to an increase in my property taxes and utilities which in the end 1) financially subsidizes and encourages private enterprise to build more homes, and 2) encourages our municipal government to grow its infrastructure and increase its staffing levels, which apparently now needs a human resource specialist?  I am not sure how a human resource specialist is ‘value added’ to a Parksville property taxpayer.

We need leaner governance, not expansive, expensive ideas.

Liz Yeates

Parksville

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