Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Change its Coming, Franchise Fees, Taxes

Breaking News:

Well the public demanded change and by jolly Jan 1st Council is going to give it to you.

Yes you will defininitly see change, on your power and gas bill.

The CAO stated last night to achieve the goals and objectives of Council strategic plan the municipality needs to bring in an additional $500,000 in revenue next year, you can achieve that by raising franchise fees, mill rate etc. He went on further to state that if they didn't do franchise fees it would equate to an 8% tax increase.

My doesn't change feel good.

The initial motion by Councilor Mitchell was to keep the Atco charge at the present rate of 15%, and to increase the Fortis rate from 8% to 14% (within the ensuing debate he suggested that it could go to 17% next year). Then Councilor Londsbury made a friendly amendment to increase the Atco rate to 20% which was accepted by Councilor Mitchell. The motion passed by a vote of 5-2 (Saindon, Gail opposed)

What does this mean to you the taxpayer?
Fortis (electricity bill) will increase by $32.64 a year and bring in for the municipality an additional $147,823 a year.
Atco (Gas bill) will increase by $22.32 a year and bring in for the municipality an additional $47,638 per year.  That's a total of an additional $195,461 per year coming out of the taxpayers pocket.
Still leaves the municipality looking for an additional $350,000 in revenue to stasify the goals of the forth coming strategic plan.

NOTE: You can vote at the Pass Herald on how you feel about these franchise fee increases  @


John Prince said...

"Until we can increase the property tax base in this community by attracting both families and business/industry to this area we will continue to see our leaders taxing us to death in each and every way imaginable. It is inevitable having a disproportionately high senior’s population, along with a declining population base year after year, that increased taxation is here to stay... at least for the short-term..."

How true it is, even if I do have to say so myself... again. :-)

Crowsnest Pass Home said...

John I hate to disagree with you but in 2010 previous council managed to place $450,000 into reserves and purchase equipment to the tune of $250,000.
In 2011 council choose to place zero dollars into reserves and finance equipment to the tune of $550,000.

The 0% tax increase that a number of councilors stood for during the election campaign ended up being 2.7% only slightly less than the 3.2% the previous year.

Take a look at the four positions created during that budget process. This during a recession when private business which lacks shareholders (another name for taxpayers) that will continue to contribute dollars when ever demanded by management. Are becoming leaner and doing more with less.

Looking at advertising I expect the cost will be up at least $50,000 this year?

Look at the overtime ban that was put in place by previous council and ended shortly after we left.
Should a municipality run overtime except for emergent situations?

And Yes expect more positions in the next budget, I remember the Mayor stating that we need to get bigger before we become smaller?

Anonymous said...

This is not good news. We are already taxed to death here. How are we going to attract families to the Pass, nevermind keep people here. Have you seen how many houses are up for sale here? I can't imagine it's a desirable place for weekenders to buy, and without them we are in big trouble. What's next?!

Anonymous said...

Keeping sticking it to the weekenders the highly paid coal miners plus all those rich developers and businessmen. Remember when you have people run your community that have lived of the public purse their entire life, do you expect them to be sound financial planners.

John Prince said...

Dean, I don't see how we are in disagreement? Everything has and continues to go up (property taxes, utilitiy fees, etc., etc.) albeit to different degrees, depending whether it was your council or the present one in power.

I take my hat off to you and your council for taking many of the necessary steps needed to turn our ship of state around. You and your team were on the right track, but as I have already stated before 'efficiencies' alone will not do the trick.

In this regard, neither your council nor the present one so far have come up with initiatives to generate more revenue streams into the public coffers that does not rely on taxing locals even more than what they have been, while at the same time attracting families back to the Pass.

"Build it and they will come" is what is needed here, but I still don't see anybody with a shovel in their hand? Just another new crop of seven guys leaning on theirs.

Anonymous said...

Dean did you hear that they did interviews on Saturday for the CAO position?


Crowsnest Pass Home said...

Yes I heard that they interviewed 3people for the job with one of them being the present Director of Public Works Myron Thompson.

Anonymous said...


What about us poor bastards that work at Sobeys. Who do not make $100,000 a year. Or my Grandmother who lives on less than $20,000 a year?

Anonymous said...

Remember the only good thing about elections is sooner or later you have another one.
Where you get the option of turfing the people who lied to you previously or you get to put in new people. These guys day will come keep in mind the first year is almost up.

Anonymous said...

"to achieve the goals and objectives of Council strategic plan the municipality needs to bring in an additional $500,000 in revenue next year"

Have I missed something? I don't think that the mayor and council have made a presentation of the new strategy that arose from the task force study that was finally presented in the spring. A review and presentation to the public was promised to occur before the end of September.

How does the CAO know that we need to hustle up another half million to pay for support of the strategic plan? When are our masters going to condescend to tell us members of the voting rabble how they deem that our money will be spent?

I really don't feel that we have the respect of our elected leaders.

Anonymous said...

You and the rest of the residents are going to pay and pay and pay.
My question is what happened to the 1 cent gas tax plus the hotel levy.
Remember the we are going to have our cake and eat it to approach.
All these wonderful things are going to happen for the Pass and even better tourists are going to pay for them. LOL

Dream on.

Anonymous said...

Dean can you tell me which Councilor made the promises about not raising taxes?

Anonymous said...

In todays promoter Decoux made the comment at the Chamber luncheon that the Municipality will be hiring another person to enforce bylaws, at no cost to the taxpayer.

Anonymous said...

Utility franchise fees raised

Anonymous said...

Thanks to Anon Sat Sep 24, 07:11:00 PM 2011 I have found the Bylaw Services Audit
That was quick - do you think it is worth $7000?

Anonymous said...

$7000.00? Are you serious? Is there no one on our municipality pay roll or council that is bright enough to put together that common sense report in a few hours?? For $7000.00 I would have thought they would at least get the cover picture right. What town is that? Not the CNP! How embarrassing!

These guys keep spending our money on studies and retreats/secret meetings to put in place bylaws,and all the while raising our taxes and utilities.

They are putting so much time and money into studies and bylaws yet have no respect for the studies that have been done or bylaws that were in place (they paid a "voulunteer group" thousands of dollars to study the studies and immediately overruled a policy on advertising)

These guys will probably get thrown out in the next election and the new council is not going to respect their studies or bylaws either. So big waste of time and money.

Enough studies and bylaws BS already! Lets see some action.

Anonymous said...

What bothers me is not the $7,000 on the study. It's the extra bylaw officer they are going to hire. That's $70,000 a year in wages, a new pickup, computer, radio, uniforms, etc etc. Then of course having two bylaw officers they will have to have there own clerk.
The municipality is becoming more efficient?
Its sounds quite the opposite to me.

Anonymous said...

I see reading the Herald today that the CAO is already throwing around the 8% number I hope that is the old municipal government game of shocking us with a big number. Then coming back later with a smaller number that we all feel satisfied with because it could have been way worse.

Council give your head a shake we have seen this game before many times, even back in the Town of Blairmore days.

Anonymous said...

My goodness you guys are big whinners in the Pass. Its $60 a year big deal. A pack of smokes every second month.

Anonymous said...

We know we are whinners, but the raising of taxes and fees have gone up at a way faster pace than increases in income so we all know this has to stop.And if you do not complain then politicians start thinking that they are doing what the public wants.
Dean, On your "changes" sideboard you forgot to mention spring cleanup cancelled.

Anonymous said...

Same old story politicians "Dream" taxpayers "Pay"

Council Trim the fat. No more new employees.