Tax increases outstrip inflation again

Red Deer city council continues to hammer the taxpayer with tax increases exceeding the Canadian inflation rate or consumer price index (CPI). The tax rate for 2014 has been pegged at 3.93 per cent, although this has not been finalized.

Red Deer city council continues to hammer the taxpayer with tax increases exceeding the Canadian inflation rate or consumer price index (CPI). The tax rate for 2014 has been pegged at 3.93 per cent, although this has not been finalized.

The last five years of tax increases are as follows, with the CPI in brackets: 2013, 4.28 per cent (0.91 per cent); 2012, 4.3 per cent (1.5 per cent);

2011, 3.9 per cent (2.9 per cent); 2010, 3.31 per cent (1.8 per cent); and 2009, 5.5 per cent (0.3 per cent).

In contrast, Toronto, North America’s fourth largest city, had tax increases of 2013 (two per cent), 2012 (2.5 per cent) and 2011 (2.5 per cent). In 2011, they cut some staffing levels, including police, and reduced hours at some facilities to cut expenses.

In 2012, Stockton, Calif., a city of 300,000 people near San Francisco, filed for bankruptcy. Factors cited were unmanageable public employee pension debt and out-of-control salary obligations. On July 4, 2012, Reuters posted an article entitled Stockton bankruptcy the result of 15-year spending binge. This article is available online and has some parallels to Red Deer’s spending.

Since then, several U.S. cities have followed suit, with Detroit being the most publicized.

Recent budget deliberations did not appear to go far enough. Days after an article in the Advocate indicated crime was down, several new positions were added to the RCMP. Parks and Recreation received a $1-million increase.

The year after year percentage tax increases are not realistic and not sustainable. The above doesn’t even include potential tax increases for the 2019 Canada Winter Games, a 50-metre pool or any other big-ticket item that will in all probability be proposed.

Mark McIntyre

Red Deer

Just Posted

WATCH: Ponoka residents enjoy first skate on ice path

A community initiative helped create a skate path for families in Ponoka.

Former Red Deer teacher going to trial on child porn charges

Charges were laid in January 2017 after a woman came forward

Canada, U.S. lead call for enforcement of sanctions against North Korea

VANCOUVER — Canada and the U.S. led calls Tuesday for the global… Continue reading

Donald Trump aces mental aptitude test designed by an immigrant to Canada

WASHINGTON — When the White House released the results of a test… Continue reading

Food industry fails to meet most voluntary sodium reduction targets: Health Canada

TORONTO — Voluntary sodium targets for the food industry have failed to… Continue reading

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Stettler’s newest residents overcame fear, bloodshed to come here

Daniel Kwizera, Diane Mukasine and kids now permanent residents

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag at Pyeongchang Olympics

Not since Kurt Browning at the 1994 Lillehammer Games has a figure… Continue reading

Beer Canada calls on feds to axe increasing beer tax as consumption trends down

OTTAWA — A trade association for Canada’s beer industry wants the federal… Continue reading

Central Albertans recall Hawaii’s false missile alert

Former Red Deer councillor Paul Harris was hanging out at the Ka’anapali… Continue reading

This robotic maid takes us one step closer to ‘The Jetsons’

Imagine this: You’re rushing to get ready for work — juggling emails,… Continue reading

Milan line offers canine couture for pampered pooches

Milan has long been the world’s ready-to-wear fashion leader. Now, dogs are… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month