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

VIDEO: Mayor Mike Morden updates Maple Ridge about COVID-19 crisis

Mayor of Maple Ridge says the city takes its lead from the province

‘Less traffic does not make safe driving less important,’ says Ridge Meadows inspector

RCMP warn against excessive speeding after two caught driving almost 50 km/hr over limit

IN IT TOGETHER: We mammals are in this together and will thrive together

An Albion meditation and mindfulness instructor suggests how we can navigate these chaotic times

Future of McBarge parked in Maple Ridge revealed

Howard Meakin has owned an Expo 86 icon fro 30 years

VIDEO: ‘Used gloves and masks go in the garbage,’ says irked B.C. mayor

Health officials have said single-use gloves won’t do much to curb the spread of COVID-19

COVID-19: postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Black Press Media ad sparks discussion about value of community newspapers

White Rock resident hopes front-page note shines light on revenue loss during COVID-19 crisis

53 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., four new deaths

B.C. has 498 active confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus

Vancouver man, 21, charged after mother found dead in Squamish home

Ryan Grantham, 21, has been charged with second-degree murder

Fraser Valley’s tulips fields off limits to visitors due to COVID-19

Abbotsford and Chilliwack tulip farmers have announced their festival season won’t go ahead

Don’t stop going to the doctor, just do it virtually: B.C. association

Doctors encourage patients to access telephone, online visits

Surrey MLA Jinny Sims cleared of criminal wrongdoing

She resigned her cabinet post during RCMP investigation

Most Read