Wages driving tax increase?

There is one thing that hasn’t really changed except for a never-ending upward trend: the wages and benefits we pay our city staff.

Re: Chilliwack keeps its taxes low (Chilliwack Progress, March 7).

The mayor – or any city politician – couldn’t have written it better however the article did not come up with any reason for paying less – or less of an increase – than neighbouring municipalities.

For instance, given the nature of the tax base and the spread-out nature of the whole area, I would imagine Chilliwack has many more housing units than many of the surrounding towns/cities.  And, it is questionable whether we have the roads or heavy traffic that other more urban areas have.

I wonder how many residents would trade their location if their very residence were magically located to Abbotsford, where you might pay a bit more for taxes however, look at the facilities that are more immediately available.  An International airport, border crossing, large shopping areas and even the ever-popular Costco etc., etc.  Even pollution levels might be lower in a closer-to-the-ocean location.

In fact, the location comparison might be something similar to driving a Lincoln Continental and a KIA.

But there is one thing that hasn’t really changed except for a never-ending upward trend: the wages and benefits we pay our city staff and particularly the executives.  Although there may be a slightly fewer number of employees in Chilliwack, the amounts are comparable to any I have seen even in much larger centres.  In fact, sometimes higher.

Jack Stewart

Chilliwack