I continue to be astounded by the level of arrogance on display at the township of Mapleton offices. As I delve deeper into the details of the 2016 budget, I ask myself if anybody made any attempt at all to save the citizens from this ridiculous proposed tax increase.
Firstly to be creating the 2016 budget based on the 2015 budget and not the 2015 actuals is a practice only performed in government. How a budget can be created without knowing your actual revenue and expenses is beyond me.
Secondly, as your article titled “Agriculture drives local building boom” states, permits of $384,517 were issued in 2015, which is $150,000 more than budgeted in 2015, yet that surplus is nowhere to be found in the 2016 budget and levy calculation.
Thirdly, the value of this construction of $58.5 million in 2015 equates to additional tax revenues of $236,813, again nowhere to be found in the 2016 budget and levy calculation.
Fourthly, regardless of any levy increase the Township is contemplating, my, and I suspect all of Mapleton’s, MPAC assessment is increasing by over 2%. This property value assessment translates directly to a 2% increase, or $110,000, in revenue to the township, nowhere to be found in the 2016 budget and levy calculation.
Fifthly, the average price of gas is currently below $0.90, with no horizon for oil to climb back to its previous highs. I suppose Mapleton Township must be the only people not saving money from lower gas prices today and for the foreseeable future, as savings from lower fuel costs are nowhere to be found in the 2016 budget and levy calculation.
Lastly, the 2016 budget wages are slated for an increase of 7.18%, compared to the expected average of 2.5% across Canada, which equates to an extra $100,000 in expenses, not to mention CPP & EI contributions to match. Clearly the township is taking care of its own, while the rest of us are expected to pay for these ridiculous tax hikes out of our disposable income. The Township is getting richer, while its constituents are getting poorer.
Any increase in taxes that equate to more than inflation is a gregarious misuse of power from the Township. Governments need to become more efficient and come up with ways to control costs rather than relying solely on ever increasing tax revenues to make up for their fiscal mismanagement and I challenge the current administration to go back to the table and return with a more palatable financial plan for 2016 and forward.
Mike Minogue, P. Eng, MBA