"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Tuesday 15 December 2009

Another Budget Snippet

The budget is huge. A single post would be tedious in the extreme.

Thirty hours were spent in the process. I missed the first Saturday when the Capital was discussed. A family friend's memorial service took precedence.

It's expected the forecast will be adopted in January.

I keep meaning to buy a stop watch. For a record of actual time spent on figures as opposed to enduring the Mayor's pontification about the need for thrift while pushing through extravagance such as I have never seen.

The tax rate is derived from three budgets; the town, the region and the board of education.

Since 2004, the Province has been absorbing all increases in education costs. In the last several years the region has been sending considerably less to Toronto to pay for their social costs.

Since 2004,the region's share of the tax bill has increased by a mere 0.8%.

Board of Education's share has decreased by 4.2%

There has been no corresponding relief in the property tax bill. The municipality has increased its share correspondingly..

As noted in a previous post, our revenue figures went up with increased assessment, gas tax sharing, and federal infrastructure grants , and by bloating revenue figures with assessment not yet on the books.

Requisitions are down from the other bodies but we still have an increase in taxes.

It's true the municipality has scrimped in the past. Things that needed to be done didn't get done. The local council carries the can. It's also true increased costs are incurred with increased assessment.Though not at the same rate. Fill in commercial and industrial development simply make more economical use of municipal services.

Empty lots have water and sewer lines running past them, pavements are plowed, lighting is provided and police protection but revenue is not there to share the cost..

Empty lots cost us. They are not just a blight on the landscape.

With the burden for education shifting to the province and the region keeping the lid on, there is no longer anyone else to blame for increases

The rate increase does not reflect the spending increase. The latter is more. Substantially more.

Much of the spending can not in any way be described as necessity We are soon coming to the
time when council must account for its stewardship.

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