"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

Sunday 25 August 2013

A short exchange

Th Financial plan was the question . I had the floor. I was making the point that the Municipal Act does not permit municipalities to budget  a surplus or  deficit.

The  town's financial year is from Jan.1st until Dec.31.

The  principle is  that municipalities , having only one area of taxation, will tax to raise sufficient funds to cover the cost of  providing services for  a period of twelve months.

I cited the "tax stabilisation reserve " as a means of  collecting  more taxes  needed in one year to reduce taxes in future years.

It means property owners  living in the town in 2013 pay to create a slush fund to be used in future years to reduce taxes.

I disagree  completely with the policy.

Councillor Pirri enjoined the debate and, through the Mayor , asked  a question  of the Town Solicitor.

He  stated  that I  was arguing the Municipal Act does not allow municipalities to  create reserve funds . That reserve funds are against the law.

On a point of order, I objected to the town solicitor being brought into  a  political debate to refute
my opposition to a specific tax item.

No matter,   the  Mayor directed the solicitor answer the question.

The Solicitor's answer was the Municipal Act  permits municipalities to create reserve funds.

And so it does and has always done.

My point  related  to a   specific fund under the heading of  "tax stabilisation" and to  this Council's
accountability  for the four year  term  and specifically for the level of taxation in each twelve month budget period.

With the help of the presiding member, Councillor Pirri was successful in obscuring the issue.

The  debate ended  , I thought somewhat to my disadvantage and frustration.

There was no furtrher opportunity for rejoinder.

But that's where  blog is such a boon.

In my capacity of spokesperson for people who pay taxes, I contend  the municipality has no business
collecting taxes fronm today's property owners, to provide relief to those who  may or may not come after.

There is no equity in  such a policy. Giving the fund an officious sounding title does not change it from what it is; an unjust tax.

The very thing that Councillors are elected to protect us from.

We are accountable to people who live here now not  people who  may or may not live here ten years from now.

We should pay  what it costs for services  rendered in the  current year.

Future residents should do the same.


Anonymous said...

Creating a line item in the budget and earmarking funds in advance to create the dollars is definitely wrong. If costs are lower than budgeted for then this would be a good place to put the surplus. But it seems that if this budget is going to be underspent, next years budget gets protected by consuming the difference before year end.

Anonymous said...

I heard you loud & clear. But you were speaking to those who will not/ cannot hear. I'm not sure if councillor Pirri really understands taxes .And that is not a crack at his age or living arrangements. Just an observation. When would he have opened any of those envelopes?

Anonymous said...

Let Council sell the equivalent of War Bonds. Those who wish to invest may do so. Others can take a pass on them.

Anonymous said...

The rookies aren't rookies anymore.

Anonymous said...

11:02 There is also no front line. They all play defence.

Anonymous said...

Municipal Councils, provincial legislatures and the federal Parliament are all elected and accountable to those who did the dastardly deed.

Taxes are raised to provide for the needs and wants of society and must be done in a responsible and transparent way; likewise the expenditure of these moneys.

There are too many games being played today by both those elected and the staffs that serve them.

If you go back in history you will find numerous instances of irresponsible taxation leading to riot, revolution and the loss of one or more royal heads.

We might be approaching the "riot" stage.

Those in charge had better pay close attention because it doesn't take long to get to the third.

Anonymous said...

"We might be approaching the "riot" stage..."

We're not even at the decent voter turnout stage.

13:05, however, is at the ridiculous hyperbole stage.

Anonymous said...

Voter apathy has got us in its clutch.

So now we turn to the Federal Police Force and Auditor General to determine if we are getting fair value for our money and if any crimes have been committed by those who are supposed to be our servants.

Anonymous said...

When I think about all those Senators [ not just the obvious 4 ], it recalls a quote. Maybe from Woody Allen?
" If you want God to laugh, tell him about your plans."

Anonymous said...

For any councillor or Mayor to even entertain this idea....doesn't want to be councillor or Mayor for very much longer.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you but have to point out that there was a majority decision on Council. Not much can be done that I can see. The road has been selected.

Anonymous said...

To 15:20
You must live a protected existence. Do you not have access to other Blogs for comparison purposes ?

Anonymous said...

Caught between a rock & a hard place. Aurorans do not want to encourage the bullies either.

Face it said...

Like I said, 18:57, look at voter turnout numbers. Using blogs as any sort of barometer for at large local sentiment is a form of "protected existence" - one protected from reality. The sample size of blog commenters is negligible in relation to the total of eligible voters.

Sure, blogs may be important to you, and you can get worked up about issues, but most of your fellow residents are oblivious.

Anonymous said...

You mean like all the national polls before elections? Normally I would agree with you but experience in Aurora has taught us otherwise. How can you generalize about what ' most of your fellow residents ' may be feeling or thinking ? I sure don't know except by talking and listening to them. Which I try to do.