Tax, spending numbers skewed

Re: View Royal taxes hiked too much, Letters, Oct. 28, 2011.

Re: View Royal taxes hiked too much, Letters, Oct. 28, 2011.

I write in response to Jim Powell’s  inflammatory and inaccurate letter regarding View Royal tax hikes.

Powell quotes a study done by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business that shows View Royal spending growing at 4.41 times the rate of population growth and inflation.

The problem with these “statistics” is that the numbers are terribly skewed and do not portray an even remotely accurate picture.

The CFIB report covers the period from 2000-2008. During this time of course the Great Canadian Casino opened and the Town joined the Greater Victoria Public Library along with the West Shore Parks and Recreation Society.

This equated to roughly $800,000 in new expenses (funded from the casino) and on top of this the Town started to send 60 per cent of the casino revenue to Langford (another $3 million)  as part of the revenue sharing agreement.

All of these expenses are factored into the CFIB’s wild claims of increased  spending, but the reality is that all this had no impact on the tax roll and were actually offset by significant increases in revenue.

The president of the Union Of British Columbia Municipalities issued  an official response to provincewide CFIB report, part of which states: “What municipalities take exception to are reviews that ignore or misrepresent the fiscal and service realities facing local governments, and that unfairly characterize local governments as being less-than-responsible financial managers.”

View Royal’s taxes did increase by five per cent this year and this amounted to a $57 increase for an “average” home.

The View Royal residential tax rate continues to be the fourth lowest out of the 13 Capital Region municipalities.

David Screech

View Royal councillor

 

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