Many places in council minutes and elsewhere TSBP residents saw the promise of “2012 tax rate down 1.17%”.
Residents of TSBP cannot be faulted for believing that they had been promised a 1.17 per cent tax decrease.
So when some took a close look at their final tax bills, and did a bit of math, they found a big surprise.
They found that TSBP Municipal taxes did not go down 1.17 per cent.
Instead, they found that Municipal taxes went up more that five percent (see the line “Local Municipal Levy Change” on the tax bills). Some residents saw an increase of slightly more than five per cent, some slightly less, but most were close to a five per cent increase.
How is this possible?
It’s possible because the implied tax decrease of 1.17 per cent was a fraud. A complete scam.
The fraud is trying to pass a tax rate change off as a tax change. In fact tax rate change has nothing to do with tax change.
The people responsible for the fraud are John Close and Tracey Neifer.
Both know very well that tax rate has nothing to do with taxes on the average residence. Both know very well that it is a deception to even mention tax rate.
Both deliberately deceived the public, partly by omission, into believing that residents were actually getting a 1.17 per cent tax reduction, all the while knowing full well that they were actually giving residents a 5 per cent tax increase.
They deceived the residents. And they deceived council.
In a report in the September 4th council agenda package, Councillor Jackson questioned the significant increase in people’s Municipal tax bills given that council had promised a 1.17 per cent decrease.
In response, before and during the September 4 meeting, councillors were told by Mayor Close and CFO Neifer that the Municipal tax increase was a provincially dictated “notional rate”, and as such neither council nor staff could do anything about it.
That was an even bigger lie than the “taxes are going down” lie.
The 5 per cent Municipal tax increase had nothing to do with the provincial government.
The 5 per cent tax increase was a result of council bringing in a 2012 budget requiring 5% more tax revenue. It’s that simple.
I don’t know which is worse – the 5 per cent tax increase or the attempts to hide it with lies about irrelevant tax rate and phony non-existent provincial mandates.
If you are as angry as I am about the tax increase, and about the fraud, please e-mail your concerns to Mayor John Close and CFO Tracey Neifer, and copy all of council.
Mayor Close and CFO Neifer should resign over this. At very least they have some explaining to do.