Frustrated taxpayers

Resident questions the regional district bringing forward initiatives

Is it just me or have others noticed that our Regional District of North Okanagan/Greater Vernon Advisory Committee seems to not be too concerned about raising taxes for property owners?

Our water costs have increased to the point where they must be some of the highest rates in Canada. For example, our household decreased our water consumption by 30 per cent  for the quarter from July to September compared to the same period in 2011. Yet, my water bill increased by 15 per cent.

This just doesn’t make any sense to me. Also, did anyone else notice that we had a very hot summer with temperatures hovering above 30 degrees and yet, since the water rates have been increased, for some magical reason, water rationing was never implemented? One has to wonder why that was.

Then we are supposedly going to have a referendum to, once again, increase our taxes for a sports complex at the college with an estimated cost of $8.5 million. There will probably be cost overruns as most government projects often incur.

Additionally, there’s the art gallery. They want $7 million to construct a new building. The museum is also looking for funding for a new building.

On top of all of this, the district has slipped in a tax hike by the alternative approval process for bus service for college/university students. When did this become the taxpayers’ responsibility? My daughter had to pay for her own way to get to campus when she attended university.

And all of these increases are going to occur while we, the taxpaying public, are still making mortgage payments on the Performing Arts Centre and Wesbild Centre. One has to ask how all of this can be paid for on the backs of property owners?

It is getting to the point where my property taxes are now becoming a mortgage on my home.

Between outrageous property taxes and service charges, no wonder businesses and individuals do not want to move here. It’s just too expensive.

And just how much of an effort are our local politicians making to bring new business to the area in the hopes of offsetting taxes that the average homeowner is paying?

We cannot keep erecting all of these new buildings when our population base isn’t increasing quickly enough to counteract the tax increases.

Can our city and municipal officials not understand this? This has to stop or we, as a community, might very well end up broke like many cities and states in the U.S.

Arthur Klukas

Vernon