Thursday, September 1, 2011

The dream debate

On Aug. 20/11, the SP opinion column was "Dreamers must lead debate." It would seem that our Mayor has begun the dreamers' debate with his comments in today's SP (Sept. 1/11) about his dream tax goal of matching Calgary municipal tax rates, a city with one of the lowest levies in Canada. If the new Mayor of Calgary continues with his plan of tax increases, Atch may see his dream come true - if he's still in office 10 or 15 years from now.

However, the report is silent as to whether or not Calgary has user fees for services or extra levies on their bills. Anyone know? I think Jack Vicq, professor emeritus in accounting, makes a good point on using apples to oranges comparisons when examining tax structures and rates between cities without the framework being the same.

Since we have managed, according to a recent CMHC report, to exceed Calgary in terms of cost of housing, whose to say this tax dream won't become reality.

Then today we have SP Columnist Gerry Klein suggesting that the lowbrows in Saskatoon are resorting to "politics of the street" and reducing years of dreaming about creating a cosmopolitan city into base election issues of garbage pick-up, low taxes and pavement. Hmmm.

Let the debate begin,.


  1. sounds like Atch is starting to butter the public up for a big property tax hike in December - likely over 4% (in an election budget no less)....How many councillors promised not to accept anything less than 2%??

  2. First, Atch's track record on what he has promised and what he has delivered on tax increases are two divergent paths. Don Atchison has lost all credibility on taxes. Period.

    Second, Gerry Klein has been an Atch sycophant (if either even know what that word means) for years. Klein's recent columns have been sour about local debate moving beyond the SP's sad little pages to the blogosphere. Sorry, Gerry, but the clout of your little ol' opinion piece monopoly is over.

  3. I think there is big gap between where Council sees Saskatoon and where Saskatoonians see Saskatoon.

    I think there is a certain segment of the population that wants to see Saskatoon grow into a cosmopolitan centre and there is a certain segment of the population that would rather see Saskatoon remain a large town.

    These forces are clashing, the Councillors are operating like we already are a big cosmopolitan centre, and we have everybody on a different page.

    If taxes need to go up to achieve what we need to achieve then so be it. Don't sit back and start trying to confuse the truth. The City has drastically underfunded roadways and as a result we are in a bind now (weird, we needed $130 million for River Landing in 2003 and since 2003 our roads now require about $130 million in catch up).

    Depending on the characters that emerge for mayor (the usual list of crazies included), I would be inclined to at least entertain Atch back if he could actually just be upfront about the situation. The longer he sits there and calls anyone who questions Council liars the faster he is losing votes.

    If you f'd up the city finances or budgeting tell us how and how you learned from it and will fix it. Don't call people who ask questions idiots.

    Klein is well past his best before date. There was zero facts in the article and it was all wishy washy opinion stuff.

  4. As I see articles debating property taxes I wonder what the impact of the no property taxes on condos, etc. in the downtown has been? Could we really have afforded this? ...and if you can afford to pay the price for these luxury dwellings could you have not paid property taxes as well? I'm seeing growth in the City but this growth seems to be costing me more, creating more traffic jams, etc. - who benefits - just the businesses? Just wondering.

  5. i dont believe anything elected people say they will or not do for my taxes - municipal, provincial, and federal. Moving to the bush when i retire!


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