Wednesday, December 07, 2016

City of Vernon reduces tax increase slightly

by Richard Rolke - Vernon Morning Star Vernon posted Dec 7, 2016 at 6:00 AM
Vernon’s tax hike has nudged down slightly. On Monday, council made a slight adjustment to the 2017 budget, which will see the tax increase go from 3.65 per cent to about 3.6 per cent. The change occurred after Coun. Bob Spiers asked that the $15,000 line item for heritage grants be removed and the money come from reserves. “It’s a simple way of reducing the taxes,” he said. “I don’t believe in taxing for the sake of taxing.” While he was successful with heritage grants, Spiers failed when it came to possibly eliminating provincial carbon tax funds being transferred into reserves. “We do not build up a reserve by stealth. Yesterday’s taxpayers are paying for something in the future,” he said. Spiers’ colleagues refused to budge on the carbon transfers into reserves. “We have to look at making our community a better place and sometimes you need money to do it,” said Coun. Juliette Cunningham. Had the $45,967 in transfers ended, Spiers says that could have reduced the 2017 tax increase to 3.5 per cent.
Don QuixoteNote: I don't object to the $80,000 grant we will get from the province under the Carbon Tax program (that is for our municipality offset for the Carbon Tax we pay each year as agreed to when the we signed the Climate Action Agreement in 2012.

What I wanted  to stop was the charge to the taxpayer of $45,967 that is an internal charge that is charged to 4 different Departments that is put into the Carbon Tax reserve. (also $10,521 that is an internal charge to the Sewer Ratepayers,)  The Carbon Tax reserve  should be used for eligible carbon projects that lessen our carbon use in the municipality and should only contain the Provincial Carbon Tax monies (plus interest) NOT an artificial property tax top up.

My attempt to stop this type of tax transfer charge for this year was defeated by a 3-2 vote on Monday. Hopefully I will win next years battle.
Signatories of the Climate Action Charter receive a grant that is equal to the carbon tax paid by the local government for energy use in its own operations. 

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