Richmond taxes to climb another 3%

 

Richmond taxes to climb another 3%

By Matthew Hoekstra – Richmond Review
Published: December 04, 2012 9:00 AM

Property taxes are expected to climb $50 for the average Richmond homeowner next year after civic politicians endorsed the city’s 2013 operating budget Monday.

A 2.98 per cent tax increase is promised in the budget, which Coun. Linda McPhail called “quite reasonable” and one that “puts us in a good place in the region.” It’s the same increase taxpayers shouldered in the previous year’s budget.

One-third of the additional tax will be deposited into an account earmarked for infrastructure replacement, with most of the remaining increase set aside for salaries and climbing RCMP contract costs, according to a staff report.

Unionized workers at city hall and the city’s works yard have been without a contract since Dec. 31, 2011. Talks are “ongoing,” according to the city, which for now is tucking away $2 million for new salary in 2013—on top of the $2.6 million it set aside in the previous budget.

Staff say the salary increases “have been estimated based ion information currently available.” Richmond’s CUPE workers could be in line for a similar deal to one reached in Vancouver last month, promising wage hikes of 1.25, 1.75, 1.75 and two per cent over four years.

As for the one per cent tax increase going to reserves—something Richmond has done nearly every year for the past decade—McPhail called the move “very wise.”

“It’s certainly something we need to do to get ahead of the looming infrastructure challenges we all face.”

Council has also added $400,000 to the annual budget to boost its reserve account for fire department vehicles and to bankroll a new $100,000 child care co-ordinator, who will be responsible for planning and developing city-owned child care facilities. The city currently owns five.

Coun. Bill McNulty said the addition of another senior staffer is “long overdue.”

“Now child care can be treated (the way) it should have been treated five years ago.”

The tax hike, which still requires a final council vote, follows a previously-approved increase in utility rates—raising water, sewer, garbage and recycling fees by up to $76 for homeowners in 2013.

On Monday council also agreed to tap into its expected 2012 budget surplus—about a half-year earlier than usual—by agreeing to another $1.75 million in one-time spending. These projects, which are in addition to the $68.6-million 2013 capital plan, include an $840,000 retrofit at Watermania.

In recent years, the east Richmond pool’s mechanical systems have been replaced after premature failure. The new maintenance money will fund new wall panels, paint, slide supports and electrical upgrades.

New city projects for 2013

$840,000: Watermania retrofit

$400,000: Major events (Maritime Festival, Ships to Shore, Hockey Day and tall ships recruitment)

$130,000: Computer software for bylaw tickets, dog licensing

$100,000: Rebuild bleachers at Hugh Boyd oval

$100,000: Museum collections management system

$100,000: Parks maintenance

$75,000: Conservation plans for 17 city heritage building

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COMMENT:

Ah Yes….our BleSsed Council, …….in their infinite wisdom

 

QUOTE

Property taxes are expected to climb $50 for the average Richmond homeowner next year after civic politicians endorsed the city’s 2013 operating budget Monday.

A 2.98 per cent tax increase is promised in the budget, which Coun. Linda McPhail called “quite reasonable” and one that “puts us in a good place in the region.” It’s the same increase taxpayers shouldered in the previous year’s budget.

Yeah Right..and I have an Olympic Oval to sell you.

What a bunch of pathetic morons. How stupid do they think we are ?

We have not even had our latest assessments out yet…now watch the SHTF. I am very curious what BS numbers BC Assessment will come out with in about 4 weeks.  We know the Real Estate market is tanking. However, the message has been sent now that the Mill Rate will be adjusted….so that no matter what the assessments actually are..the City wants “3% more “.

Now you will see people screaming when they see a lower assessment, or know their house value has dropped….yet the taxes still rise ?  Straw man arguments, ie comparing  to last year,or elsewhere in the region and “patting themselves on the back”,  are  a  sign of desperation by Council.   These increases insidiously “compound”….  its 3 % on top of last years 3 %…..on and on and on…. Last year, my taxes jumped close to 30%…..so where does this ” 3 % ” come from ?

QUOTE:

One-third of the additional tax will be deposited into an account earmarked for infrastructure replacement, with most of the remaining increase set aside for salaries and climbing RCMP contract costs, according to a staff report.

Unionized workers at city hall and the city’s works yard have been without a contract since Dec. 31, 2011. Talks are “ongoing,” according to the city, which for now is tucking away $2 million for new salary in 2013—on top of the $2.6 million it set aside in the previous budget.

Staff say the salary increases “have been estimated based on information currently available.” Richmond’s CUPE workers could be in line for a similar deal to one reached in Vancouver last month, promising wage hikes of 1.25, 1.75, 1.75 and two per cent over four years.

F*cking Ridiculous. Taxes shouldn’t be used to support these “Charities” or public troughs to stick their noses in. My spouse is a Union member, in the PRIVATE Sector…. and is in the midst of Job Action…and with a current offer of 0%…0%..and 1.5%.  They haven’t had increases in a while, but have actually had some benefits cut. That’s the REAL world.

To City: We, the Citizens, are not obligated to be your Cash Cow – Piggy Bank. This Council gave a 17% increase to its Staff.aka to our Civil Servants to buy ” labour peace ” during the Olympics. Again, these increases compound, and as well generously benefits THEIR gold- plated public pension plans. There is no correlation or term of reference to what Vancouver’s (Left Wing) Council gave its employees, who gives a shit ? If they don’t like it….they can shove it and Q-U-I-T.    Strike? …probably wouldn’t even notice. This is increasingly becoming “US” versus “THEM”.

QUOTE:

Council has also added $400,000 to the annual budget to boost its reserve account for fire department vehicles and to bankroll a new $100,000 child care co-ordinator, who will be responsible for planning and developing city-owned child care facilities. The city currently owns five.

 

WTF ?  Why is the City involved in Day Care? Leave that to the private sector.  This is simply Empire Building…and will create more highly paid staff which we cannot afford. 

 

CONCLUSION: We the average taxpayer are being raped and pillaged. This is not sustainable. This will effectively drive many parties under…..especially as the economy collapses.  These people are detached from reality and very disrespectful of the people they are there to SERVE . There is already plenty of examples of Cities that are bankrupt…and paying their Civil Servants minimum wage. Who does the Council work for….is this becoming our worst fear…a communistic governance ? Duly note that the majority of the increase is going to salary increases, and we already have large number of high salaries at City Hall. Council had no obligation to allow these increases, but every right to say NO.

Time for the citizens to stand up before it is too l-a-t-e .

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