Nanaimo City Hall. (News Bulletin file photo)

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Ratepayers can’t afford tax increases every year

City council cannot keep going to the same well, says letter writer

To the editor,

Re: Council should give taxpayers a break, Letters, Jan. 9.

With projected revenues for 2020 of around $196 million and projected expenditures of around $206 million, Nanaimo property owners are once again faced with a five-per cent tax increase. When I wrote the mayor to inform him that many seniors are on fixed incomes and can no longer afford to have their wallets lightened by more taxes year after year, besides the cost of living increase of about two and a half per cent, I was told in part that a couple years back the previous council chose not to increase taxes at all one year which may have pleased the ratepayers but was pretty poor public policy.

I have a problem with the kind of attitude that leads to a statement like this. So now it’s poor public policy to be fiscally responsible and only spend what your revenue is, like us seniors must do? The only difference is that for some seniors it’s a decision about whether to eat or buy their medication and they have no option to stick their hand in someone else’s pocket to make up the shortfall. And it’s not just seniors who are having a difficult time. Many ratepayers, whether they be single mothers or injured workers or just plain working poor are struggling as well.

With the forest industry in turmoil and a rapidly aging population, city council may have to rely on less and less revenue in the future and cannot keep going to the same well.

I have looked at the financial plan and found I could easily make enough cuts to balance this budget, but there would be an outcry because council has already irresponsibly promised these funds to others.

Chris McLeod, Nanaimo

RELATED: Nanaimo council gives three readings to budget with 5.2% tax increase

RELATED: Lantzville approves 23-per cent property tax increase

The views and opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the writer and do not reflect the views of Black Press or the Nanaimo News Bulletin. If you have a different view, we encourage you to write to us or contribute to the discussion below.

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