You can listen to my interview with CBC Kootenay reporter Bob Keating by clicking the link below.
All this talk about high taxes got me curious, so I looked into my own. I was a joint-owner on my mother’s house and I paid her property taxes for the last 10 years. My mother died in June last year and our home was sold in 2018.
- Our 2008 property assessment was $305,700
- Our 2018 property assessment was $313,600 (View it here yourself)
- Our 2008 gross tax was $3,284
- Our 2018 gross tax was $3,747
Our gross tax increased by 14%
Policing costs increased when the town’s population exceeded 5,000 people, so I looked at our police tax.
- Our 2008 police tax was $83
- Our 2018 police tax was $393
Police tax increased by 373% ($310)
If I don’t include the police tax increase because the town had little to no control over that.
- Our 2008 gross tax was $3,284
- Our 2018 gross tax was $3,437
That is a tax increase of 5%
I would be curious as to what you get if you do the same.
Together as a community we have accomplished much together over the last 10 years. With such great momentum, I feel we are entering into our best days together. I am asking for your vote so that we can continue to accomplish many great things for our Town.
Thanks to Juice FM for permission to share my radio ad here.
NOTE: This is my 91st From the Mayor’s Desk article, originally published in the November 2017 edition of I Love Creston. All figures and amounts discussed here are updated for the 2018 pre-referendum. Please visit the 2018 Referendum for Borrowing page to view the current information on the proposed fire hall project. You can also pick up a paper copy of these questions and answers at Town Hall.
Our community is growing! The most recent Canada census data (2016) indicated our population to be at 5,351. As we continue to grow and develop, we need to plan strategically for our infrastructure. And our infrastructure includes more than pipes and roads; it also includes municipal buildings.
A key piece of our municipal infrastructure is our fire hall. Did you know that this building, located on 10th Avenue North, is a converted grocery store that was built in the 1950s? Our fire department moved into that building in 1982. Many years later we now serve a population base that extends beyond our municipal borders; providing fire protection to approximately 8,000 people. Our department has grown, our service provision has grown, regulatory requirements have grown and now we are faced with the need for a new fire hall.
The old adage of having to walk a mile in someone’s shoes in order to understand their reality certainly held true one day this past July. I found myself, with other Councilors and senior staff, dressed in full firefighting gear, undertaking a number of training exercises. The purpose? To get a glimpse of what it is that our volunteer and career fire fighters do for our community.
The beginning of this election season, as with all of my others (2008, 2011, and 2014) marks a drastic uptick in the number of politically active individuals on social media. The common theme discussed is often focused on finances. There are also many questions asking where candidates stand on various topics. I’ve even been told of a comment from someone saying they “don’t even know what I look like” which is more sad than funny given I have been in office for 10 years now and make myself available as much as possible.
The following social media post was shared with me. While not all issues voiced warrant a response, this particular one does. Town Staff works hard to ensure the best interests of our citizens are looked after through effective budgeting.
Here is the post in question followed by my response.
Holding the title of Town Mayor, as well as any other public office comes with its fair share of criticism from those we serve. The most recent allegation to come to my attention is in regard to Town expenditures for cell phones.
When I first ran for the mayor’s seat in 2008 I could not have expected that in 10 years I time I would be seeking my fourth term. But, like many who are elected to public office, I find the work fulfilling and endlessly challenging. So here we go again!
I believe that my strength has been the ability to lead three great Town Councils, all of which have had certain strengths and areas of expertise. Leadership involves bringing out the best in all involved, and I have strived to do that with each Council.