North Cowichan – There have been a number of candidates making statements about how they will provide “common sense” to government yet they are the same ones who make inaccurate statements about taxes. For politicians running in an election the easiest thing to do is jump on the bandwagon about taxes.
Should any of these tax champions really want to talk about taxes they would tell you that North Cowichan has had significant tax increases, from 2010 to 2014 approximately 28 per cent. That sounds like a lot but what has been happening is North Cowichan has in the past few years had to play catch up as a result of previous councils not being financially responsible.
For 2014 the average household total residential property taxes and charges in North Cowichan (population approximately. 30,000) place in the middle of the pack at number 74 out of 161 reporting B.C. municipalities. What is much more important is measuring money for value received. It’s time for local government to be transparent and make available, online to taxpayers, how their money is being spent. Candidates talk about development. Attracting business to the Cowichan Valley is difficult when they have to deal with multiple jurisdictions, a serious but fixable water supply issue that repeats itself year after year and a population of which many don’t really appear to be interested in the change development will bring.
Without development and the jobs development brings, your children will continue to move away further eroding the tax base which includes a quickly aging population.
Amalgamation – the City of Duncan has a full council with a population of less than 5,000 and declining. For Duncan, amalgamation is the “common sense” choice as it would allow Duncan to keep its identity and have the benefits of combined resources.
M. Miller North