Thursday, April 6, 2006

How much for that pat on the back?

The London Free Press notes that while city controllers were debating what to do with the remainder of last year's surplus,

there was near-unanimous praise for a three-year plan that calls for tax increases of 4.4 per cent next year and 3.8 per cent in each of 2008 and 2009.
How commendable, said the fox inside the henhouse. Controllers may cynically believe that taxpayers might find the increases tolerable after hikes of 5.9 and 5.3 per cent in the two years prior to this year's election hike of 2.95 per cent, but their self-congratulation more likely stems from a complacent belief in the moderation of their expansion of the scope of local government. It is unbecoming, however, to the average property owner whose liabilities increase year after year beyond average increases in means.
Tax hikes would drop below an inflationary rate of three per cent if assessment grows as it did the last two years, staff said. "Our financial position is stable," chief administrator Jeff Fielding said.
Reasonableness upon reasonableness — but whether the tax increase is due to higher rates or to assessment hikes, the property owner is still out of pocket to a tune above inflation. The important thing to note is that the board of control is actively planning to grow its assets and the size of local government at the expense of Londoners. Fielding is rather disingenuous in his characterization — what he really should say is that "the growth of our financial position is stable."

3 comments:

BBS said...

Ouch! They actually released a plan like that in an election year and called it good?

MapMaster said...

I guess that compared to Millerista Toronto's prospects, it probably is good. But then again, I wouldn't want to live in Toronto these days either.

Anonymous said...

I'd take Toronto taxes over ours anyday. In the less than 5 years since my husband and I bought our first home the taxes have MORE THAN DOUBLED. Family living in Toronto and Ottawa have homes worth twice ours, yet actually pay LESS in yearly taxes than we do. I can only think that the city wants people to start moving beyond its borders. The fact is could buy 10 acres outside London and pay the same monthly mortgage and tax that we do now. When I wrote to City of London Councillors and Mayor I got a form letter back stating that the only way to reduce taxes is to reduce expenses. My only comment - Duh, than reduce spending.