Tuesday, January 11, 2005

They always get so cranky when they stay up past their bedtime

If I don't see those lights out in five minutes, I'm coming upstairs!

Some city councillors denounced the London Chamber of Commerce yesterday over what they termed a damaging and erroneous report on the city's business tax rates. At their budget session, some councillors demanded the group apologize for a report released last week that said city businesses are saddled with some of the highest property tax rates in Ontario.

Controller Bernie MacDonald accused chamber general manager Gerry Macartney of causing city council "nothing but heartache over the past five years.

"The Chamber has done nothing but criticize us and we're fed up and let's tell them so," MacDonald fumed.

City treasurer Mike St. Amant said that while information in the report was correct, the conclusions the group drew from it were not.
Oh, so the information was correct, was it? Then how about letting us reach our own conclusions. They seem pretty self-evident to me -- we are overtaxed, spending property taxes on items that have nothing to do with service to property, and we are becoming rapidly uncompetitive. And rather than try to address the problem, let alone even acknowledging it, they waste even more time petulantly criticizing the Chamber of Commerce, whose information was correct! So the headline in the Free Press reads "Chamber criticized over tax report"? The Council deserves every bit of criticism it gets, and being public officials they are expected to receive criticism from the taxpayers of London with the consideration it deserves, not this kind of crying.
"Based on the reports and reactions, you would presume that London taxes are much higher than other cities, but this is wrong," St. Amant said.

He said the city's commercial taxes are actually lower than the Ontario average and the group's report failed to acknowledge that half of the tax rate is determined by education taxes and the city has the highest eduction tax rate in the province.

But Macartney wasn't backing down yesterday.

He said the city's tax rates are undeniably high and hurting competitiveness.

"Other municipalities are using comparative tax rates when they talk to investors. And when they show these charts, guess who's at the top?,"
I know, I know!

Council won't let honest facts and opinions get in their way. Through the Free Press, they have the power to cover over facts and opinions with their loud shrill whining. Makes you wonder why they even wanted the responsibility of running the corporation of London in the first place if they can't handle criticism. Children!
Council debated asking for an apology, but backed down. Instead, Mayor Anne Marie DeCicco will ask the group to consult with the city before releasing future reports and to write a rebuttal that will be submitted to The Free Press.
Left, Right or just plain Totalitarian? All expression must be approved by London's master planners.

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