Province making towns boost their taxes and spending
Letter to the Editor
Municipal Affairs Minister Howell stopped the people of Kippens from having an election at the same time as everyone else and it was delayed until Nov. 30. The former mayor was disallowed from running, in other words interfering in the town of Kippens’ right to vote for whomever they wanted.
Minister Howell stopped the town of Witless Bay from giving their senior citizens a break on their taxes.
The Liberal government since 2015 has been forcing municipalities to keep their taxes high whether they need the monies or not or lose their municipal operating grant and gas tax.
What that means, councils no longer have balanced budgets as legislated by law and have large surpluses, which allows them to spend monies on items that are not needed in order to keep their surplus from getting too high and the taxpayers of this province are paying unnecessary high taxes.
In 2018 the town of Brighton with enough money in the bank to run the town for two years decided to raise taxes. For over half of the property owners, taxes went up 27 pe cent.
They told the people in a newsletter, if they didn’t raise taxes, they would lose their M.O.G. and gas tax. Then they went on a spending spree.
Brighton paid over $300,000 to put sewer to eight homes who already had their own sewer and four of them not occupied, one for over 20 years.
They spent $2,800 for a chain of office for the mayor of a town of approximately 160 people.
They bought seven chairs valued at $199 each for the council chambers, used 20 hours a year.
They spent $8,047 for two heat pumps for the town office, used 3 days a week.
That’s only a small example of wasted money.
I met with the then Municipal Affairs Minister Derrick Bragg in Gander in person. I wrote to Minister Derek Bennett, and Minister Howell, to get the following questions answered:
Why was the town of Brighton allowed to raise taxes for three years in a row with all this money in their bank account and still growing?
Why was the town of Brighton allowed to charge people, on approximatly 20 vacant properties, garbage collection fees when there is no garbage to be collected?
All of the above replied to me to say Brighton can do as they like, we have no jurisdiction over them.
Most of our rural communities are made up of seniors, many on a fixed income and cannot afford the unnecessary high taxes being forced on them by this Liberal government.
(Ret.) Capt. Wilfred Bartlett