PENINSULA LETTERS: Citizens should be up in arms over taxes

Calling this year’s increase low is also debatable because once again the increase exceeds the inflation/cost of living rate

I was re-reading the 2014 District of Central Saanich Budget Update and it struck me that the first sentence, “It’s a difficult task each year to keep taxes low while maintaining services,” is getting to be a bit of a cliché.

Whether or not taxes are low is debatable but I think what was meant was it is difficult to keep tax increases low. Calling this year’s increase low is also debatable because once again the increase exceeds the inflation/cost of living rate (I think this is the 15th year in a row that that has happened).

I would have expected that citizens would be up in arms already protesting the relentless tax increases! I suggest that taxes could be lowered by refusing to continue to hire new staff and not automatically giving staff wage increases regardless of any increase in productivity.

The police service could certainly be reviewed with additional decreases in mind (I’ve mentioned before that the Central Saanich police service has one of the lowest case loads).

And here are a few more suggestions off the top of my head for reducing the expenditure side of the budget:

1. Find a way to delay street lights coming on at least by one hour. Presently, they come on when there is still sufficient day light.

2. Contract out park maintenance.

3. Don’t send out two or more maintenance staff for jobs that one person could do.

4. Replace (over time) the big SUVs that the police use with smaller, fuel efficient vehicles. And review the necessity of other staff driving relatively large trucks when smaller ones or small vehicles would suffice (for example, for reading water meters).

5. These suggestions may be only the tip of the iceberg so if another staff must be hired, make the job function (at least part time) to review current practices and actively look for cost savings.

6. Not a direct saving but do away with most stop signs in residential areas and replace with yield signs or no signage. It is not necessary to come to a complete stop at most residential intersections which wastes fuel (and increases CO2 emissions).

Some brave jurisdictions have found that no signage actually reduces accident rates because drivers become very cautious at unsigned intersections.

I must say that I am negatively emotional about the way the municipality takes more and more money out of my pocket every year. Senior governments don’t seem to have to resort to yearly tax increases maybe because citizens would be up in arms.

Frank Witthoeft

Central Saanich

 

Just Posted

Saanich brings Uptown-Douglas Corridor draft plan to the public

Feedback from residents will help finalize the plan

Truck involved in Malahat crash had no insurance

Driver faces charges of driving without due care and attention, no insurance for Monday’s crash

Greater Victoria could see a months worth of rain within a week this fall

Weather Network predicts wet, warm fall season for B.C.

B.C. population on pace to fall behind Alberta

Provincial population could reach almost seven million in 2043, but Alberta is growing faster

Some 5,000 residents on the Saanich Peninsula have signed up for alert system

Sidney hosts Peninsula Emergency Preparedness Exhibition Friday

Sealand was much more than killer whales, says ex-employee

Former Sealasd trainer revisits Sealand of the Pacific in talk

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of September 17

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should the province step in to upgrade the road to Bamfield?

The death of two University of Victoria students on a bus bound… Continue reading

UPDATED: Hundreds gather to reflect and remember UVic students killed in bus crash

Campus community invited to reflect, support one another

Vaping-related illness confirmed in Ontario believed to be first in Canada

Middlesex-London Health Unit had no further details about the case — believed to be the first confirmed in Canada

Canadian stars Virtue, Moir say in video they’re ‘stepping away’ from ice dancing

The pair thank fans for their support in an emotional message

Kamloops high school evacuated after receiving threat

Police have not released any further details into what the threat includes

Woman held at gunpoint during carjacking in UBC parkade

University RCMP say the vehicle is still missing, and two suspects are at large

VIDEO: Angry B.C. cyclist starts shaming dangerous drivers online

‘You motorists deserve all your costs and misery’

Most Read