CTF says local tax hike high
Canadian Taxpayers Federation B.C. director Jordan Bateman said he believes the likely tax raise of 3.5 per cent for residents of Prince George is on the high side, especially following a core review.
“That’s about twice the rate of inflation. That’s not good,” he said.
Bateman, a former city councillor for Langley, said a core review in Penticton was a great experience resulting in a tax freeze.
“I’ve been surprised that the feedback from the core review hasn’t been more positive. In Penticton, it’s been a great experience. There’s been a tax freeze for three years because of the review, and some other things they did,” Bateman said. “These things work if council has the public’s support and can stop fighting long enough to implement it.”
Bateman said he was also surprised when the city decided not to disclose the details of some financial information Coun. Brian Skakun requested.
“I’m surprised city hall didn’t provide the information,” Bateman said. “I’m surprised council doesn’t see the value of having the context of major payouts like this.”
Skakun filed a notice of motion after asking city staff members for some in-depth information on a city financial statement.
Bateman said there wasn’t anything unusual about the statement, and often when he received similar statements he requested further information as well.
“That document is kind of standard for what everyone does,” he said. “I’d usually highlight a few items and ask what’s this company, and what’s that. Our CAO usually knew the answer off the top of his head, that’s how good he was.
“I was interested Brian’s motion failed, and I was surprised he had to make it in the first place. It’s not the CAO’s money going out the door, it’s the taxpayer’s money.”