Letters to the Editor

Unrelenting burden of increasing taxes must stop

Editor, The News:

As I read the various newspapers of this community, I am struck at the numerous letters in which local taxpayers have expressed serious concern for the ever increasing property tax burden being forced on home owners.

It is as though municipal hall is either ignorant of these concerns or it is so arrogant that the message simply doesn’t settle its brain for processing.

Let’s be clear: I am referring to district administration, not the everyday workers who ensure we have all of the necessary services of a vibrant, modern community. They, like so many of us, are simply trying to earn a decent income, maybe raise a family or take care of others in the family who find themselves in difficult times.

I am talking about the administration, the people who drive our taxes though the roof for no other reason than poor management.

Whenever I express my dissatisfaction with the performance of this organization I am told, ‘If we want the best, then we need to pay top money.’

What is the best? What, exactly, is the job of municipal administrators?

I would suggest priority No. 1 must be keeping property taxes under control.

Maybe they could consider ability to pay when putting together the annual budget.

There are so many ways to get taxes under control, but  this seems to not be a consideration at budget time.

Rather, it appears the theme is, ‘How much can we tax before there is a revolution,’ or, ‘How far can we push the lowly taxpayer before one or two crack?’

Well, here is a suggestion for Maple Ridge mayor and council: when the redevelopment of the downtown core took place and, being the mega fiasco that it turned out to be, the citizens ended up purchasing the entire over-priced, project.

Unless I am mistaken, that project was financed over 15 years. Therefore, it should nearly be paid for by now, if not, very soon.

If the administration has not being fooling around with the agreed over-all plan for that project, the taxpayer should be seeing the benefits very soon.

At that time, it was agreed that, at the end of the mortgage on the project, the district would either sell the project and use the funds to directly reduce the taxes; or divert all rental revenue from the various projects to reduce taxes.

Any other use of those funds is contrary to the overall theme of the long-term agreement made with the taxpayers, in good faith, and the district, in order that the people accept the purchase at that time.

No money from this project is to be used to dream up yet another department, hire more staff to fill space which would otherwise not be required.

It is to benefit, directly, home owners, who have been forced to carry this outlandish costs of the downtown project.

By the way, this unrelenting burden of ever increasing property taxes must stop.

Find another source to tax, like the railway.

Also, tax goods shipped through Maple Ridge.

Pitt Meadows must be raking in a killing from the CP Rail container facilities.

Why not Maple Ridge?

Lastly, enact a study of the amount of carbon emissions spewing from the train engines passing through Maple Ridge, then charge them a local carbon tax.

Mike Boileau

Maple Ridge

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