A recent newspaper article, headlined County to collect $2 million more in taxes, has raised my concerns.
It is with a great deal of dismay that I see Red Deer County intends to raise property taxes $2 million per year.
Red Deer County council says this increase is necessary to maintain services. I would ask, which services?
From the county website we can see costs broken down into categories.
From 2002 to 2007 (last year data available), the cost of administration has risen 277 per cent, legislative costs (council) have risen 215 per cent and ag services have risen 220 per cent! In the same period, roads maintenance and operations have risen a mere 37 per cent. Incredible!
I think most people can see where the money has been wasted. What kind of private business can sustain these kinds of foolish bureaucratic costs?
In the same time frame, property taxes have increased a total of 190 per cent. Now granted, Red Deer County, mostly stuck that one to small business and the oil and gas industry.
Today, with a proposed $33.3-million tax budget for taxpayers, we see an increase in property taxes of 255 per cent from 2002, for all the taxpayers of Red Deer County.
This, over a period of seven years. Again, incredible!
Maybe this current council should go back and sharpen its pencils.
I would suggest this: try to do what all of us homeowners and small businesses are doing in these tough economic times. It’s called reality. Do you get it?
If this present county council can’t do better than this, I would suggest we have a very real need to get rid of these spendthrift wastrels and replace them with a more responsible group of people.
Red Deer County