Nanaimo City Hall. City councillors should be trying to keep this year’s property tax increase reasonable as citizens deal with affordability challenges, say letter writers. (NEWS BULLETIN FILE)

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Tax increases shouldn’t exceed inflation

Regular folks limit themselves to what they need as opposed to what they want, says letter writer

To the editor,

Re: Proposed tax increase rises to 5.6 per cent, Nov. 26.

Most people’s pay increase, if they get one at all, is tied to inflation. Where does council think citizens are magically going to find this money? Most people can’t just vote ourselves a raise.

Governments should learn to live with tax increases that don’t exceed inflation and end these ridiculous budget increases. Regular folks have to limit themselves to what they truly need as opposed to what they want. Politicians should also learn to live within our means.

S.I. Petersen, Nanaimo

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Projected tax hike shows disconnect between city and taxpayers

To the editor,

Re: Nanaimo’s potential property tax increase trimmed to 5.1 per cent, Nov. 25.

Nanaimo Victim Services to receive half of $100,000 funding requested.

But the same council is considering paying for their own babysitting service without financial considerations?

Where are the priorities of this council?

Tim McGrath, Nanaimo

RELATED: Nanaimo’s potential property tax increase trimmed to 5.1 per cent

To the editor,

Re: Nanaimo’s potential property tax increase trimmed to 5.1 per cent, Nov. 25.

City bureaucrats have determined that we geese won’t hiss much at another annual five-per cent property tax increase. This has been true since I first examined the expansion of city government in 2005 and it remains so today.

The numbers are alarming. From 2012-2017 city employees earning more than $75,000 rose from 195 to 222, while average salaries increased from $96,042 to $124,897. That’s a big reason for wages and salaries being 41 per cent of the city budget. Government left unchecked will always grow, because it serves those working within it. New positions benefit management because ‘expanded responsibilities’ demand better remuneration.

Wage increases for front-line staff mean increases for management too, as salary differentials must be maintained. Meanwhile, the ‘weak link’ in municipal wage negotiations results in the highest salaries becoming the floor for future negotiations amongst similar-sized municipalities. As city salaries increased, the average income for Nanaimo residents was about one-third that of city staff. Not surprisingly, city bureaucrats are recommending their usual 5.2-per cent compounding annual increase or typically, another $158 in property taxes to support at least five new staff positions. The proposed increase doesn’t include their recommendation that city council consider yet another five new staff positions. For city council and bureaucrats who frequently hector the rest of us about ‘sustainability,’ there seems to be a fundamental lack of understanding of how a struggling private sector cannot sustain an ever-expanding and expensive public sector.

Randy O’Donnell, Nanaimo

RELATED: City of Nanaimo budget talks underway, projected tax increase up to 5.6 per cent

RELATED: City of Nanaimo’s budget talks start with 5.2-per cent tax increase

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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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