I voted NO against the tax rate changes for the municipal and provincial combined rate increase of 6.1% for residential properties. The reason I did this was not because I thought my vote would be able to stop this increase from being passed down from the province to tax payers. I had realized that council’s hands were tied long before the votes were cast. The property tax bylaw must be prepared in accordance with the Municipal Government Act and that council must pass this bylaw annually. Otherwise, councillors may face dismissal. However, this is something I am willing to risk as I was elected to represent tax payers.
No, I voted NO in order to stand up for all Calgarians who have said, in the 2015 Calgary Satisfaction survey, that enough is enough when it comes to tax increases. To let the constituents of Ward 4 know that I am listening to your concerns about paying higher taxes when you are not convinced that government is spending your hard earned money on needs instead of “wants”. I voted NO because I realize Calgarians are facing tough economic times, people are losing their jobs, seniors on fixed incomes are struggling to remain in their homes and because citizens no longer want to be seen as ATM’s.
I appreciate the fact that government services are paid for by taxes. In fact, I support many services that are needed to make our City great. However, when our governments CHOOSE to offer services that only satisfy vocal minority group “WANTS” and services we simply cannot afford, and then download that extra cost on to tax payers, I am compelled to stand up and say something. It does not make sense for me to put my head in the sand and hope everything works out while we saddle future generations with debt.
Instead, I will stand up and say I CHOOSE to not consistently increase taxes simply because we cannot control our whimsical spending and desires for signature projects and vote obtaining promises. We MUST begin to find the strength and courage to say we cannot afford everything we want; whenever we want it. We NEED to start using common sense and live within our means.