Now more than ever we need to reign in this spending frenzy that has seen our taxes raised over 40% since 2012. You read that right! 40%. For the math enthusiasts I have put the calculations on the page entitled Bean counters.
This City Council has been on a spending frenzy since 2012, long before COVID came into our lives.
City Council actually had a zero increase in 2021, which is clearly a political move.
If they had actually cared about the economic impact property taxes are having, they would have reigned in their spending a long time before COVID hit. From a financial perspective this pandemic has caused many businesses to close, others on the brink of closure and others that will take years to recover. Many of our fellow citizens have had reduced hours, been laid off temporarily or lost their jobs. Even before the pandemic, City Council has had a long history of raising property taxes. It must stop now; property taxes must be capped to the rate of inflation. It is absolutely shameful that we treat our citizens this way, seniors are being forced out of their homes that they have spent a lifetime to acquire. You are making it harder and harder for younger people to get into a home. How much have these excessive tax increases contributed toward homelessness.
Franco Terrazzano, Alberta director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federationj was quoted in the Edmonton Sun “The cost elephant for Edmonton is its bureaucratic costs, its labour costs” he said “We’ve really seen labour costs in municipalities in Alberta become detached from the realities that are facing the taxpayers who are footing the bill”
How We Can Improve Core Services
Limiting taxes to the rate of inflation should not mean reducing services.
David Wiun the city auditor has been quoted as saying “The city must reduce its costs in order to remain sustainable in the current economic environment”. He has also commented that supervisory positions have grown disproportionately to non supervisory. Basically what Mr. Wiun is saying is that middle management has grown faster than front line workers. In the Edmonton Journal, September 10, 2020, Mr. Wiun indicated that Edmonton’s management has grown 21% in just three years. When I was campaigning in 2017, I heard from front line city workers who expressed that management wouldn’t listen to their cost saving ideas.
What can we do
Capping property taxes at the rate of inflation. Implement the findings of the city auditor. Listen to our front line workers, they are the boots on the ground and have insight into cost saving ideas. By doing this, good things happen, pensioners can stay in their homes, it will make it easier to afford a home. Controlling taxes sends a message to businesses that Edmonton is a stable economy to invest in.
The bottom line is that we can take control of our taxes and not reduce services.