Friday, March 2, 2012

The cash grab is under way (coming soon)

Everybody around town is asking how can the municipality pay for all these new positions?
Well first of all folks its not the municipality paying for all these new positions its us "the taxpayers" on this post I am going to track the various "cash grabs" that have taken place for this financial year. Plus any that I hear council is considering, so fasten your seat belts sit back and read. Remember if you are not prepared to speak out be prepare to "pay", silence a politicians best friend.

Cash Grab #1.
On Sept 21,2011 I first reported about Franchise Fees those are charges added on to your Hydro and Gas bills that are a source of revenue for the Municipality.
Cost to the taxpayers Hydro $147,823, Gas $47,638  Total cash grab of $195,461

Cash Grab #2
Back tax penalties went from 21% to 55%, outstanding taxes October 2011 $1,040,000, outstanding back taxes February 2012 $880,000 massive penalty increase forced a whooping 15% of back taxes to be paid. I suspect in line with any other year. At 55% increase each year who will be able to pay them and who will purchase all these properties when they go up for back tax sales?.

Proposed Cash Grab #3
Business Licenses presently $75 each, will rise $25 per year starting in 2013 to double by 2015. Cash Grab  of $11,675 per year  

Proposed Cash Grab #4
Safety Code Fee/Electrical and Plumbing Permits Increase estimated cash grab for 2012 $24-26,000

Proposed Cash Grab #5
Cemetery Fees cash grab $2500 per year

Cash grabs to come? lets not forget the big ones your municipal taxes and municipal utilities.

Word on the street is that the new  Manager for the Office is starting on March 12 and the Director of Community and Protective services position is now advertised. Negotiations between the Municipality and Cupe are ongoing after a marathon two day bargaining session in February they do not meet again until March 19th.  

The drive to be the lean mean municipality continues, Coleman/Blairmore shop consolidation I was told this morning its still on going.



Anonymous said...

Are we going to be turned into a police state. Community peace officers at every corner, nailing the seniors for having paint flaking on this house. If they could write 100 tickets a day at $200 each we would have enough money to do that indoor swimming pool.
I also hear now that they are going to ban the sale and use of fireworks. That can't be true?


Anonymous said...

Do not forget to add the peace officers to the list. They are highly unlikely to pay for themselves and if they do it still is a tax to the person who has to pay an unfair fine. Unfair fines happen when a peace officer has to pay his wages through tickets written. Any time you have a quota system it leads to unfair practices.One bylaw/peace officer is plenty for the CNP.

Anonymous said...

It was recently reported that there were over 200 homes in the Crowsnest Pass that will be in violation of the new beautification bylaw (a bylaw that was put in place by the previous council I might add). Now I know what the bylaw officer has been doing. Instead of actually dealing with bylaw infractions (for example the vehicles sitting in front of the Greyhound bus depot) he has been driving around recording addresses of homes that the municipality can make money on in the future when the new bylaw/peace officers are hired.

Anonymous said...

If you don't want to pay a fine, keep you property tidy! Why is that such a big deal? If we were all "good neighbours", would we need any peace officers at all?

Anonymous said...

Yes I agree; keep your properties up. You look at some of the houses around here and wonder if anyone actually lives in them - even though you know they do. As a community everyone should want to keep their property nice; and if not they should be fined. It is like that everywhere.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:15 I agree with you this should get the CNP cleaned up fairly quickly but what happens when every property is in compliance? Where do the Bylaw/peace officers look to generate their incomes from.I beleive at this point they would have to start writing tickets for the petty stuff that really is not a bother to anyone and that is my fear.

Anonymous said...

Hello Dean, The economy in the Crowsnest Pass is not doing well. In the past year, there has been very little new development and a drop in the assessment. With Fields closing, we will have another large building on the main street with paper in the window. Extra Foods, is just hanging in there. Judging by the hyper activity at the municipal office, with all the new cars parked out front, this council is not in touch with the economic reality that surrounds us. Councillor Gallant was absolutely right when he said prior to last election: “The high property taxes in Crowsnest Pass are crippling the community. It hurts our families, it drives away business, and it discourages investment in our town.” The new budget will be very telling, one hopes some common sense will finally emerge, but it remains to be seen.

Crowsnest Pass Home said...


The community standards bylaw was put in place by the previous council.
Now I think almost anybody would have a tough time arguing that you should be allowed to have 23 vehicles in your drive way, or a right to have an absolute pig pen devaluing all of your neighbours homes.
Every bylaw is a tool, the previous council's position from my point of view was to bring in the community standards bylaw to provide a tool to clean up the pig pens and the junk collectors drive ways.
Two things I struggle with on this issue right now, it was never intended to be a cash cow to further the growth of an over sized municipal bureaucracy.
How far is enforcement going to go with this bylaw. First of all I have a tough time believing that there are 280 pig pens in this community. Second I believe that if you took the 20-30 worse offenders and dealt with them most people would clean up in no time.

The bigger government gets the more ways they have to find to squeeze the taxpayers to sustain their existence.

Anonymous said...

I can totally see over 200 properties in violation!

The peace officers can also write tickets you know, speeding, etc., on the highway. I guess that will help the mounties. Lots of smaller centres have both.

Anonymous said...

A swimming pool as Larry mentioned is a ridiculous thing to think about in a centre this size. Go to Pincher Creek or Sparwood. I think it is too small here to support it - as noticed by the lack of anyone supporting anything. I think the money can be spent on better items.

Anonymous said...


Are the right words used to describe the following:
High Taxes
High Utilities
High Franchise Fees
Fine revenue for every possible infraction
Financing of $200,000 to shuttle people around the Pass for one night, plus building our very own version of the Berlin Wall.

Dean I have a original idea can we start a count down to the next election?


peter rosner said...

ANON 1:17--- Have you been talking to the Pass Herald or some of the downtown merchants seems i have heard this before or am i starting to go senile.