Corman Park approves 36 per cent tax increase
Residents of Corman Park faced a large tax increase.
For the more than 8,300 residents a property tax increase of 36 per cent will have them looking at their budgets.
This increase follows a separate rise of 17 per cent earlier in the year.
"The former administration was able to hold the line of taxes simply by raiding the bank account, the reserves," said Reeve Mel Henry.
"You can't keep living on borrowed money and as a result we have had to make a tough decision."
Henry stated that the tax increases should have taken place over the last several years.
"We are starting at day one to try and put this budget, this RM on a good financial basis... but it is either remedy now at 36 per cent or remedy it two years from now at 70 per cent," he said.
Henry said that they are finding money for roads, infrastructure, planning, and even maintaining employees while putting money aside for the future maintenance.
"It was not a lot of fun. We looked for other ways and chopped a lot of stuff out of the budget," he said.
"But the fact still remains that for a dozen years of mismanagement it can't be straightened out without a bit of pain."
When the council went to vote not all of the councillors agreed with the tax increases.
"I don't think it is needed. Some of the councillors have a champagne taste on a beer budget," said Coun.Gordan Gunoff.
He said that some of the reasons the hike was justified are not legitimate.
"We have to take a more business like approach to what we do," he said.
"The Reeves is saying that its going to cost $2 million and that the dump has to be closed but we were told by the person that manages the dump that we could make over $500,000 a year... and that dump doesn't have to be closed down."
He said that people need to speak with their councillors about their concerns. He said that he will continue to stand up for the residents of Corman Park.
"I think the RM has to step up to the plate and manage properly," Gunoff said.
Corman Park resident Garry Derenoski decided to take a closer look when he heard about another tax increase.
He pulled out his 2010 and 2011 property tax notice that included the 17 per cent tax increase.
"I feel mislead because I was told there was a 17 per cent increase but I wasn't told that it would be affected on top of property reassessment ," Derenoski said.
With the numbers in front of him Derenoski said he saw an increase of around $900.
He said that the municipal tax increase itself was over $500.
"I find from $4,300 to $5,900 (with the new tax) just totally unacceptable. I urge rate payers to look at their taxes from 2010 to 2011 and now add another 37.5 per cent on to their taxes," he said.
He said that he is getting close to paying city prices without any of the benefits including paved roads, sewers and garbage pick-up.
"What government - provincial, municipal, or federal - can get away with tax increases of this nature in two years," he said.
People in the community are getting frustrated with tax increases Derenoski said.
"People are furious. People are not prepared to stand still for this and they are not prepared to see their taxes go up yet again this year," he said.
As for Reeve Henry's justification , Derenoski said he is not buying it.
"I just can't imagine the Reeve blaming prior administration for this.... how long can you do that," he said.