A recent letter submitted under the heading “Not So Bad” is but another shameful attempt to minimize the poor fiscal management foisted upon the people of Centre Wellington for the past four years by the current administration.
Firstly, no one with simple basic math skills ever said the rate of taxation had increased over the past four years by 17%. The actual number was in fact just under 16% or slightly less than 4% per year. The letter writer tried to justify this outrageous increase by saying it was partly caused by inflationary pressures and population growth. The problem however, is that inflation was below 2% per year for most of that period.
Secondly, the argument that operational spending should naturally increase to accommodate new growth and additional services flies in the face of any study done on the subject. The author of that letter clearly did not take the time to do any research before she stated what is clearly her opinion based on purely personal assumptions.
When it comes to calculating annual tax and operational spending increases, the Canadian Federation for Independent Businesses states: “It makes sense that municipal operating spending would increase to accommodate growth in population and to provide the same services to more citizens. In addition, it is reasonable that operating spending should be adjusted for inflation to account for any increases in prices.” 2015 CFIB Municipal Spending Report
Using their formula as a guide, this means that based on population and inflationary numbers from 2015-2018, Centre Wellington’s tax increases and operational spending should have been calculated in the following more reasonable fashion.
According to the benchmark (Rate of Inflation +Population Growth) operational spending should have risen by (6.4% inflation+7.48% growth) to a total of 13.88% within Centre Wellington from 2015-2018. Or, to put it in actual dollars it would have been an increase of $2,765,341 from 2015-2018. Instead we saw CW operational spending rise by 29.24% or ($5,825,546). A difference of $3,060,205.90 or $765,051.47 per year.
Clearly, we can do better with our fiscal management. Letters like “Not so Bad” merely promotes the status quo thinking which continues to provide the township management with a blank cheque at the taxpayers’ expense.