Now that the propaganda machine has won their victory regarding the two referendums on housing and water, there needs to be a full accounting of how much was spent on these two initiatives by the CVRD. Lots of posters, mail outs, staff time and hall rentals are just some of what the monies were spent on. What budget did these monies come out of and will there be new tax hikes to cover this?
Once again, special interest groups come forward with their ideas and the CVRD takes on the task of convincing the taxpayer that it is their duty to pay up. One special interest group that gets ignored by the CVRD is the taxpayer. We must have deep pockets to keep shelling out more and more. Who represents us?
I attended the meeting in Mill Bay where the lecture was given by none other but the CAO, Brian Caruthers. I was able to ask one question. I wanted to know why we always pay for initiatives based on assessed value. I suggested a parcel tax, where every dwelling pays the same. His response was that it could be done that way but the Board decided on the method to be used. Apparently staff had no say in this, according to him. It would be a fairer way of taxing. A higher assessment does not necessarily mean that the occupants are that much richer. He would not take any more questions. So much for being open and honest government. They tell us what we will pay for and we just have to sit down and keep quiet.
All of our equity is in the land and house. We are on pensions and yet, because our house is newer, we will be paying more than an older house. How is that fair? We are on a well, which we paid for. Connection to the house, a pressure tank, electricity to run the well, a water filter and a back up generator were all at our expense. Those on city water just have to turn on the tap and pay for what they use but they will be paying less in tax than we will.
As for housing, we have spent 47 years to reach this point and now we are expected to pay the salaries of a group that will just publish reports and no affordable housing will be built. We could use those tax dollars to pay for the services that we can no longer do for ourselves.
I hope the new board will be better than the last and put the taxpayer ahead of more useless initiatives.