Re: Coquitlam approves 2.95-per-cent tax hike, Dec. 12
This mayor and council has no hesitation in taking on more debt, using the taxpayers as leverage and new sources of revenue. When the world is reeling from debt and individuals reach capacity, the financial cliff is very near.
Canada and various taxing authorities are all facing deep cuts, but our administration continues to pat themselves on the back.
Just look at the issue surrounding TransLink and the Evergreen Line. Threats of new revenues sources from the same taxpayer. Oh no, the mayors have retracted and said no way. The budget process for 2013 has included $14 million for Evergreen Line streetscape projects. And who is to pay? Our community should not have to cover this dream expense. Look at the David Avenue road work. We could have had an additional lane for drivers but instead, a multi-use lane. This is an arterial road and not in need of trees, grass and more walking/biking areas. What is the added taxpayer cost in salaries and job creation? But thanks for having and intersection and crosswalk lights installed.
The City Centre Library only cost $15 million plus, and at a real bargain saving some $15 million. This is very difficult to believe that someone would sell to the city at such a reduced valuation. Are there other hidden benefits here? Who would sell at 50 per cent of market valuation? Historically, what someone will pay sets the market if sold for that amount. Oh yes, the increase in operating expenses will be close to $365,000 per year. Is there going to be an economic valuation to offset using the prior space now vacated?
Noted also some $36 million for parks, acquisitions and sports fields. Seems like there are plenty of parks not being fully utilized.
Pie in the sky! Now we're going to put aside funds for an archive! Where does this show up and how much? We don't need to keep up with the "Jones." Not a priority when locals are striving to make ends meet.
Let's give the businesses a little boost by diverting our savings and reducing their tax burden! This is nice for the city and may bring in new business interests. But you and I are forced to pay more for some ridiculous gift to businesses. This takes money from us and we do not have it to spend on purchasing goods from the business. Next year, our tax rate may be equal to business rates!
Parking meters, restrictions and developers facing more charges just to pass along to newbies to the community. Why do we need 40-plus storey condos? Does anyone appreciate the loss of our views and amenities? Who is benefitting? Our community is becoming very restrictive to drive, and some are being forced to take transit/walk. Who cares if studies show one bedroom condos need only 1.2 parking spaces. How will this affect resale values?
And while you and I are trying to make ends meet, our mayor was visiting Europe for a mayors' meeting. In times of tight money, surely these jaunts could be handled more efficient and less costly by using technology and staying home. Are they providing any tangible benefits?
Watch for the financial cliff here, and across the world!
Elwin Mowry Coquitlam