Friday, February 9, 2007

Once again, Londoners get robbed twice by city council

Last night, in yet another tale of London City Council's fiscal malaise, they approved spending $2,000,000 of taxpayer's ill-gotten surplus for special-interest groups and other initiatives. As always, the net benefit to the taxpayers when council wastes your money-nothing. The Free Press states that one member of council has called it the worst budget he has seen:

A $2-million budget windfall was spent by city council almost as quickly as it was found yesterday, with little relief for London taxpayers.

Taxpayers still face a 2.8-per-cent property tax hike as council hammers out the city's 2007 budget, despite an extra $200,000 for tax relief, leaving one politician fuming.

"It was a spending orgy," said Coun. Paul Van Meerbergen after failing to get council to return to taxpayers $7 million of the $10.2-million surplus left over from last year.

"This is my fourth budget and it's the worst. We had an opportunity to do things to help taxpayers with some tax relief and we botched that."

Paul Van Meerbergen hits the nail on the head. If anything, this reckless behavior will be a sign of the things to come over the next four years. Fiscal prudence will take the back burner in order to be complacent to any special interest group who lines the civic trough.

As a consequence, London taxpayers will be the ones who suffer with perpetually high tax hikes leading to further deterioration of infrastructure and basic municipal services. Literally, just as soon as council found out that the surplus had increased by $2 million, they go on the following impulse shopping binge:
- Western Road near the University of Western Ontario will be festooned with decorative banners and planters (amount spent to add these "enhancements" are not disclosed).

- An extra $200,000 for the new $4.5-million aquatic complex at the Boys' and Girls' Club of London, doubling the city's gift in a bid to leverage more government funding.

- $500,000 put into a tree- planting reserve to offset expected losses from the emerald ash borer found in the city last fall.

- $250,000 on top of an equal amount included in a reserve to buy woodlands.

- $200,000 to the Children's Museum for an upgrade.

- $200,000 to the London Ski Club, which had sought $350,000 over five years for a $6-million expansion.

- $650,000 -- and $1 million, if available -- for new affordable housing for the needy.

The use of monetary surplus to fund new spending is essentially a big slap in the face to taxpayers. City Hall purposely took more of your money than was required to meet their obligations, thus displaying an arrogant attitude by refusing to give it back to the ones who created it--hard working Londoners.

The bottom line is this: At budget time, taxpayers in London are being robbed twice by City Hall. The first time it occurs is during the previous year, when they overcharged you on your tax bill to create a budget surplus. The second time it happens is at budget time the following year, when they refused to give this surplus back to you in tax relief. Instead, they decide to spend it on frivolous spending and special-interest groups.

Londoners, be warned, were in for a wallop on our wallets!

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

The London Ski Club? $200,000 of our cash? Checked their web site could not find a list of board members, which should be public as this cash grab has positioned itself as a charitable organisation.