The Bad Budget Should Be Defeated (Craig Gammie 4-1)

The 2014 budget was supposed to be voted on at the January 7, 2014 council meeting. That meeting was cancelled due to bad weather. Now the budget will be voted on at the January 21st meeting.

The budget includes the more than $240,000 extra costs that all TSBP taxpayers will have to bear as a result of having free parking for tourists at Sauble Beach.

The draft budget is a 2.7% increase over 2013. If pay parking for tourists were left in place, then instead of a 2.7% tax increase, there would be a year-over-year reduction in taxes of about .3 %.

Rumour has it that several council members are opposed to the draft budget. Rumour also has it that if Paul McKenzie could be persuaded to vote against the budget, the budget may be defeated. Councillor McKenzie has already voted against the free parking proposal.

I urge all readers to phone Paul McKenzie and convince him to vote against the budget, and against free parking for tourists. Paul is at 519-534-0792. If he doesn’t answer you can leave a message. He isn’t on the computer that much, so e-mail is less certain, but here is his e-mail address anyway –

paulwmckenzie@bmts.com

Also it would help if some readers could go to council and ask to address council and then speak out against the free parking for tourists and against the 2014 draft budget. But remember that you would have to ask permission to speak.

John Close has apparently been leading people to believe that there is a zero tax increase this year. That is false. There actually has been no increase in tax rate, but tax rate increase is not the same as tax increase.

Tax rate (also called mil rate) is calculated by taking dollars of total tax levy required and dividing that by total assessment (in thousands of dollars).

Tax rate varies with the budget levy, but it also varies with other factors. Which means that sometimes tax rate will go down as taxes go up. This makes tax levy or tax levy increase a totally unreliable and irrelevant indicator of how well council is doing, or of how good or bad a budget is.

The relevant indicator is the total tax levy.

And that total tax levy is set to increase by 2.7 percent for 2014.

The total tax levy increase for the term of the current council is 19.7 percent if the budget is passed as is.

Just before the 2010 election, in an all candidates meeting, John Close made a promise about tax rate that was stated in a way that led residents to interpret it as a promise of a 15% decrease in taxes. Instead we got a 19.7 % increase in taxes over his term.

I cannot understand why anybody believes anything John Close says.

And he wants to be mayor again!

Craig Gammie

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