Being New Westminster residents for 17 years, and owning our home, and having benefited from city services, we would have to question why there is any tax increases.
New Westminster is all ready one of the highest taxed cities in Metro Vancouver, and we have had enough of the yearly tax hikes.
We have to question the need for so many people on the Sunshine List. How many people do we need to have making over $100,000 per year?
The person who runs Queen’s Park Arena and the Moody Park Arena makes well over $100,000 per year. There have been no rock concerts booked into these venues, and the revenue generation for these facilities is limited. We would support that type of salary if the venues were major money generators, intended to be used to lower taxes in the city, but they are not.
This is only one example.
City council could be a hero and cut taxes in New Westminster if they eliminated half of the $100,000-plus jobs and replaced them with lower priced individuals, or eliminated them altogether.
We think it is important for the city to realize that we are tired of being ATM machines for the city and its managers.
The staff who recommend these tax increases, and staff increases, are dealing with a conflict of interest. They are interested in the taxpayers of New Westminster, they would be concerned about the viability of paying these tax increases. Real leaders look for ways to manage the resources of the city, not simply, “Hey we need a new coordinator for this, and that, and that and this and that and those five other places, too. And each will need to be paid at least $100,000 per year” and, behind our backs, give a high five for increasing our taxes.
So, we would say the city should make tough decisions and cut taxes, and look at savings that do not affect services.
The only position we would support is city budget officer, who looks at the budget and proposes ways of saving money for the taxpayers of New Westminster.
We do not support any type of tax increases. Rather we would rather the city find ways to cut taxes.
But the city council will inevitably think themselves heroes when they wrestle the city workers down to the 2.5 per cent increase and congratulate themselves on making “tough” decisions to keep the tax increase to twice the inflation rate.
Jill So and Blair Poljer, New Westminster