Possible to cut tax increases if budgeting taken seriously

Municipal politicians in the Valley continue to shirk their fiscal responsibilities

Possible to cut tax increases if budgeting taken seriously

Municipal politicians in the Valley continue to shirk their fiscal responsibilities by approving tax increases that far exceed any COLA comparison — let alone Valley taxpayers’ ability to pay. These increases are due to two similar factors: the insatiable political willingness to spend other folks’ money and managerial desires to grow their functions.

At a public budget review meeting the CVRD finance director was asked why the board did not set a maximum for tax increases in the upcoming year, to which he responded that with so many different functions to fund it would be impossible. When pressed, the CVRD CAO acknowledged that such would be possible — difficult, and complex, but possible.

Why not then? In my 15 years of municipal management each year our councils asked management to prepare three draft budgets: zero increase, a small increase and a three per cent increase. Management would prepare those proposals and council would debate, modify and decide on an increase. Management then had to adjust individual budgets accordingly to accomplish the overall increase set by council. This approach required some serious work by management to effect without damage but it was accomplished.

In one instance, when a manager, correctly assuming his usual suggestion for cost reduction would be rejected, proposed partial closure of an immensely popular public facility, the CAO told him that if that suggestion came forward again the manager would be fired. It did not come forward again.

If Cowichan Valley’s elected officers took the issue of spending tax money seriously and reined in unnecessary administrative growth, reasonable budgets could be set and funded by reasonable taxation.

Pat Mulcahy


Just Posted

Voter’s Guide for Cowichan-Malahat-Langford

Check out our voter’s guide for tomorrow’s federal election: Image across page,… Continue reading

VIDEO: Climate change, veterans, tax cuts: it was all there at Lake Cowichan all-candidates debate

All six candidates faced off in the final Cowichan Valley debate of this federal election season

Cowichan T-Birds finish 5th at Bridgman Cup

Cow High contends at Victoria’s prestigious field hockey tournament

Drivesmart column: Glaring fog lamps

I agree with this reader, I also find many fog lamps unreasonably bright

Providence pumpkin patch open Oct. 18 for U-pick

For the first time ever, the folks at Providence Farm therapeutic community… Continue reading

Environment Canada issues gale warnings for western Vancouver Island

Gale warnings in effect for most of Vancouver Island and west coast Mainland

BC Ferries crew member taken to hospital after getting struck by bow doors

Two sailings between Horseshoe Bay and Departure Bay were cancelled

Greta Thunberg meets with First Nations chief in Fort McMurray

Thunberg has turned her protest against climate change into a global movement

Canucks hang on for 3-2 win over Rangers in New York

Vancouver scores three times in first period

More beef products recalled due to possible E. coli contamination

The food safety watchdog has been investigating possible E. coli 0157:H7

B.C. VIEWS: How to get the best deal on your ICBC car insurance

ICBC slowly being dragged into the 21st century

Most Read