Monday, April 12, 2010

The one trick pony

It would appear that council only knows one solution to budget problems - raise taxes. I guess the concept of reducing spending hasn't flitted across any brain being drained.

If given the choice of preserving our trees and mosquito control or putting off a capital project, I'll opt for the trees and mosquitos. And I do know the difference between capital and operating budgets. But if you reduce capital spending and increase operating, you can still come up with the same total amount of dollars being spent annually.

But the annual finger pointing ritual has begun, with the province bearing the brunt. Its not like council wasn't given warning that provincial funding was in jeopardy. And as council shamelessly hits at the province for off-loading they should remember they too have already off-loaded costs to tax payers with increased service and utility fees.

As for some homeowners that will receive the whopping extra cost on their tax bill for water line replacement, I am unclear as to whether that cost will be spread over several years, or whether the hit comes this year. If the full cost comes in one year, I expect some of these homeowners will find themselves unable to pay their taxes in full this year. Then they will get charged exorbitant interest for late payment of taxes or face losing their homes under tax enforcement. And why do we pay monthly infrastructure levies on our water bills? I would think every 50 to 100 years we should expect upgrades to old infrastructure and the levies should cover those upgrades.

Then again, these comments may all be for naught. We have six honourable councillors that committed to not raising taxes beyond the rate of inflation. Will they keep their promise? If not, will we remember the broken promises come the next civic election? Maybe we should be holding our elections in spring rather than in fall.

The one thing we can be certain of is that when the bills come in we will pony up the cash.


  1. Mistress
    This is the first time I agree with everything you said.
    Well done.

  2. remind me - who are the six - I know Bev Dubois is one - and you can't rely on her for anything

  3. What's next from this ridiculous council, declaring that costs from repairing pot holes on our streets will also be added onto property tax bills?

    What about when a sewer line break? Should the entire neighborhood also be liable to chip in collectively through increased property taxes? Same thing with spring flooding, any costs used to defray that should also be picked up by those neighborhoods.

  4. Dubois, Hill, Neault, Wyant, Penner, Heidt.

  5. Taxes are obviously not as important to Saskatoon citizens as you think! We elected all of the incumbants in October. The only councillor (CM) that publicly questioned civic spending out loud got run over by a tax and spend socialist(CC) in 2006. Why would they worry their position is secure, the electorite don't care, just forget or don't bother to vote. We get exactly what we deserve.

  6. I didn't realize Clark was a tax and spend socialist....what does that make Don Atchison, Myles Heidt, or the rest of the so-called "conservatives" on Council?

  7. That would make Atch, Heidt, and the other "conservatives," well, conservatives.

    From Reagan/Bush to Mulroney to Harris to Devine there is no shortage of evidence that so-called Conservatives are the ones who prove themselves time and time again absolutely unable to balance a budget. Simple fact.

    It was Clinton, Chretien, McGuinty, and Romanow who balanced the books after Conservative messes. Simple fact.

    "Tax and spend" fear mongering only rings true for the Gormley sycophants - those who continuously show a complete inability for critical thought but a great ability to parrot knee-jerk rhetoric with no substantive evidence to back their words.

  8. To Anon above, I would be hesitant as classifying any American President as less conservative than their Canadian counterparts. Even the left-ist leaning Prsident is more Conservative than the more hard core right wing Canadian PMs

  9. The water line that runs from the main to someone's house is the responsibility of the home owner. I see no reason why I should subsidize repairs and maintenance to this. The cost of this repair SHOULD be paid for by the homeowner.

    This is not even comparable to repairing potholes.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.