News Views: Tom’s budget

Pitt Meadows advocate led the way in getting relief for taxpayers

Pitt Meadows council is now proposing a municipal tax increase of 1.9 per cent for 2014.

Just a month or so ago, city staff proposed a 3.3-per-cent increase, a rate necessary just to maintain current services. That was so upsetting for Coun. Tracy Miyashita, she claimed if more was cut from the budget, she wouldn’t want to work for the city.

Yet council found another 1.4 per cent in reductions.

So what changed?

For the second straight year the city has been presented with a petition seeking a hold on residential taxes – no increase, zero.

Tom Murray, who passed away from cancer on Sunday, started the petition, stating that annual tax increases above the rate of inflation – those of four per cent annually were proposed by the city in a five-year plan in 2012 – are not affordable for some.

He didn’t want to be treated like the city’s personal piggy bank.

Council heard the message and found further reductions.

Still, Coun. Janis Elkerton and a few others plan to vote against the smaller proposed increase, suggesting even more can be trimmed from the budget and no increase is achievable.

We’re not suggesting that further cuts can be made or are necessary.

We’ve seen what putting off capital improvements has done to B.C. Hydro rates – forecast to balloon in to double digits in the next two years.

And Pitt Meadows has some real capital needs of its own, such as upgrading pump stations to prevent flooding.

But given staff initially wouldn’t recommend anything less than a three-per-cent increase and now one of 1.9 per cent is being proposed, maybe more can be cut.

It is also possible more is at play, given there is a municipal election next year, and politics are intervening in the budget process. We hope that is not the case, and that council, as a whole, can come to a decision that is best for the city and its residents.

That is what Mr. Murray wanted.

– The News


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Maple Ridge’s Larry Walker Jr. gets voted into Cooperstown

Walker received 76.6 percent of the Baseball Writers of America Association vote

Maple Ridge boy, 13, arrested in alleged assault at Port Coquitlam middle school

Boy alleged to have used inappropriate levels of force to injure the girl

Larry Walker and his father keeping expectations low for HOF induction

Walker needs 75 percent of votes in order to be inducted into Cooperstown

Blue Line Sports in Haney Place Mall closing

After 27 years of business the Sahota family will be closing the store by Jan. 30.

VIDEO: Nickelback gears up for nostalgia tour

Canadian band joins Stone Temple Pilots for a summer tour that includes just one stop in Canada

Province asks health-care staff to be ‘vigilant’ in screening for possible coronavirus cases

This comes after U.S. health officials confirmed a case of the virus in Washington State

PHOTOS: Heavy snowfall breaks window, causing avalanche into B.C. newsroom office

It was a chaotic start to the week for the Kitimat Northern Sentinel

Deer carcass strung up at Surrey fire hall prompts investigation

Investigation underway following complaint a Surrey firefighter hung a deer carcass in a fire hall

Canadian law firm launches class action on behalf of Iran flight victims

Flight 752 was shot down by Iran shortly after take off

Mission Hill cellarman fired after mistakenly dumping $162K of wine down the drain

The former employee filed a grievance with the West Kelowna winery but was unsuccesful

Protesters block B.C. government building entrance to support Wet’suwet’en First Nation

A letter with four demands was delivered to the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources

VIDEO: Langley woman without a home after houseboat sinks during snowy weather

A Go Fund Me page has been set up to help the Grant’s Landing resident replace her possessions

Most Read