Monday, October 22, 2012

Franchise Fees-The Facts it's not even a tax!

Copied from the Municipal web site:

"Are franchise fees a tax? No. Franchise fees are simply the cost utility and cable providers incur for being allowed to place their facilities in the public's right-of-way. Franchise fees are considered a cost of doing business. Franchise fees are an important component of a diversified revenue stream for municipalities."

Let's debate the definition of a tax? A cost of doing business which has several councillors stated during the debate on this issue gets passed on to the taxpayers. Tax? 

On the next page it goes on to say:

Municipal Fact:

"Since 2008 the Municipality has increased the Franchise Fees received from ATCO and Fortis from $271,037 to $569,749 to generate revenues and reduce the impact on mill rate increases and as well to establish reserve funds".

To generate revenues and reduce the impact on mill rate increases. So it is a tax? What would taxes have gone up this year and next without the Franchise Fee? approximately an additional 3% in 2012 and 5% in 2013. 
2008 shows $250,000 for Franchise Fees I can't see the $271,037 anywhere on the table?

Municipal Fact: (Heading shorten by blogger for room purposes)
Summary of Revenues 
Tax Levy

Utility Levies
Franchise Fees
Total Revenue
Annual $ Increase
Annual % increase
Budget - 2014
Budget - 2013
$ 9,742,353
$ 9,225,678
$ 8,890,481
$ 8,630,343
$ 8,462,676


Anonymous said...

This is the one that stood out for, it's not technically a tax, but it operates like one as the municipality makes the decision to raise the fees and every cent of that cost gets passed directly to the residents.

This highlights this administration's unfortunate difficulty with communication. Don't try to fool people with semantics. They'll figure you out eventually and everyone will be worse off for it. Call it straight and even if you raise the fees you'll be developing a more transparent relationship where the electorate can build trust. Keep doing it this way and no matter how great your plans are, no one will ever get on board.

Anonymous said...

Received from ATCO and FORTIS, or received from the LOCAL RESIDENTS, through Atco and Fortis? Just another revenue stream from the same local taxpayers. If it looks bad to increase taxes, but we still need more revenue because our costs have gone up, let’s get it from the taxpayers and not call it a tax.

Anonymous said...

"It is not a tax"? Here is the Webster's Dictionary definition of "Tax".

Definition of Tax,
1a : a charge usually of money imposed by authority on persons or property for public purposes b : a sum levied on members of an organization to defray expenses
2: a heavy demand

There is also an item at the bottom of my Energy and Utilities statement which reads Municipal Franchise Fee.
How long can Council remain delusional in believing that the majority will continue to buy their spin?