Longtime Esquimalt residents will tell you that year after year, decade after decade, Esquimalt property taxes consistently have an annual average increase of five percent.
Esquimalt’s municipal budget has many fixed costs that have to be financed and I appreciate that it can be very challenging to balance our community’s budget. I can also appreciate that our township has a lot of infrastructure that can be expensive to maintain. We have good services in Esquimalt such as our parks and recreation facilities.
I trust that our council will maintain our infrastructure and our services in a manner that will continue to benefit our community and all our residents.
For 2011, however, we need to adopt a fiscally responsible budget that will have minimal property tax increases for both Esquimalt residents and local businesses. We are in tough economic times. Our homes are already very expensive to maintain. Younger families are struggling to make their mortgage payments and seniors are struggling with limited incomes to keep their properties in good shape.
While the economy has gone down, the cost of living has gone up. For working people, wages have not been increased while their living costs have greatly increased. Some people have even lost their jobs altogether and are struggling to hold on to their homes.
I understand council has a very difficult challenge with our budget, but the municipality needs to be cognisant of keeping property tax increases as low as possible while maintaining our community’s valued services.
Esquimalt Residents Association