Tax money well spent

The City of Chilliwack's proposed tax increase is reasonable and reflects the public's demand for services.

Few people cheer the thought of paying more taxes.

So reaction to the recommendation by city hall that Chilliwack residents pay an additional 3.44 per cent this year will generate some predictable results.

But consider the math. For the average home owner, the increase works out to about $4 a month. For that, Chilliwack residents maintain existing services, improve policing, improve transit services, and add library services to the south end of town.

For some, the increase is still too high. Indeed, given the low rate of inflation and stalled economic recovery, they may even ask why any increase at all.

The problem is that a tax freeze equates to a service cut. Inflation may be low, but the cost of labour, services and material continue to climb.

These fixed costs limit options for city staff.

Certainly, there are municipalities that have frozen tax rates (coincidentally in an election year). However this usually only defers spending to another budget year.

Road maintenance is a good example. It is an easy thing reduce the number of road repairs done in a budget year. But those roads will still need fixing.

So what about the increased spending cited by the finance department?

Policing accounts for the biggest piece of Chilliwack’s budget pie – roughly 30 per cent. The planned increase for the coming year is relatively modest given that size; The city is asking for the addition of just one officer, and one support person.

The transit increase will expand service hours and provide better service to seniors.

Spending for new library will cover the expected annual operating cost of $1 million.

These priorities may draw criticism. But the point to remember is they were all asked for by the public. City hall is simply responding to that call.

As Chilliwack’s population grows, it will require additional police resources; if it hopes to have an effective public transit system, it must be user-friendly. And if Chilliwack hopes to encourage a literate and well-rounded citizenry, it must be prepared to provide the resources and the amenities.

This budget hopes to do that.

All for about an additional four bucks a month.

Just Posted

UPDATE w/ VIDEO: Chilliwack homeless camp given eviction notice

Inside the camp that will be removed by Monday RCMP according to trespass notice

Missing Chilliwack teen found ‘safe and sound’

Boy found just as mother was organizing search

Chilliwack Rotary club reports $4,200 theft at storage shed

Rotary Train Shed adjacent to homeless camp on reserve land broken into Oct. 15

Rainfall warning issued across Lower Mainland into the weekend

50 to 70 mm of rain expected to fall starting overnight Friday and into Sunday morning

UPDATE: Chilliwack mother issues plea for info on missing son

Informal search party organized for 13-year-old boy not seen since Thursday

VIDEO: ‘Lyle the singing pig’ searching for home

SPCA say the pig is ‘not opera-ready’

Man in custody linked police search near Salmon Arm

Police have not connected arrest to search at Salmon River Road property

B.C. search groups mobilize for missing mushroom picker

Searchers from across the province look for Frances Brown who has been missing since Oct. 14.

Search for missing B.C. man a race against winter weather

David Jeff of Williams Lake was last seen in Kamloops during the chaotic wildfire evacuations

Man steals police car, goes for a ‘slow’ ride

Mission RCMP say the motive of the theft is unknown

Dodgers punch ticket to World Series

This will be the first time the Los Angles Dodgers have made it to the World Series since 1988.

Surf group winning the war on plastic bags

The Tofino Co-op will no longer provide plastic bags, following in the footsteps of the Ucluelet location that already made the change earlier this year.

All three victims identified in Fernie arena ammonia leak

Wayne Hornquist and Lloyd Smith were from Fernie and Jason Podloski from Turner Valley, Alta

VIDEO: Body discovered at scene of dumpster fire behind Langley City mall

Area behind furniture store taped off after firefighters find deceased woman while battling blaze

Most Read