When is Municipal Tax Freedom Day?

Coming approximately a month after “tax freedom day” and the same day that New Westminster residents paid their property taxes the News Leader ran a few interesting financial articles.

On p.A4 there was “Council Expenses Mount” which highlighted how our City’s council expenses had “shot up more than $23,000 in 2009 compared to the previous year.” Apparently most of the expenses were the result of 5 members who traveled to China/Japan.

Coun. Jaimie McEvoy topped spending with $10,307 in expenses, followed by Lorrie Williams ($8,727), Betty McIntosh ($8,514) and Bill Harper ($8,383), who all made the trip. Mayor Wayne Wright, who led the delegation, incurred $7,133 in expenses, and another $5,151 in expenses stemming from his role as chair of the New Westminster Police Board.

Then on p. A9 there were two more interestingly timed stories, one regarding the number of city employees making over $100K and the other about how the City (read New Westminster taxpayers) will pay for the pier park debt.Apparently we now have almost double the number of employees we had making over $100K in 2008. In 2008 we had 38 staffers making over $100K and we now have 70.

Also on this page was an article on how the City (taxpayers) will be paying for the future debt of the Westminster Pier Park. According to the News Leader, “residential taxpayers won’t be on the hook-directly, at least-for paying down the debt, which will total more than $16 million.” New Westminster council borrowed $8 million to buy the pier property and another $8.3 million to pay our share of the park construction costs. Supposedly the first loan will be paid back by 2014 using development cost charges, density bonusing and proceeds from the sale of city-owned land. Density bonusing permits developers to build higher density on a site in exchange for payments to the City. One has to ponder how much denser our City will become or how much land our City is going to sell off in the next four years in order for us to be able to raise $8 million. The second loan will cost taxpayers approximately $730,000 annually for 15 years. It should be noted that this loan is for the ‘first-phase” of the park. At this rate by the time the vision for this park is fully realized our grandchildren will be paying for it.

4 thoughts on “When is Municipal Tax Freedom Day?

  1. Great legacy for this group currently in charge.
    Aging infrastructure, mounting debt and the highest taxes in Metro Vancouver.
    What a sad, sad story for this group of incompetents, misfits and ideological whack-jobs.
    What a sad story this is starting to add up to for a Mayor who simply is bamboozled by anything with even a modicum of complexity.
    He has difficulty pronouncing anything over five letters long.

  2. $8 million could have gone a long way towards much needed work @ Canada Games Pool, the one community centre for all of mainland New Westminster. As was made abundantly clear by the questions from Voice director, James Crosty, @ last Monday’s council meeting, the pier park will eat up the lion’s share of the park related DCC’s for the foreseeable future.

  3. After a conversation Neil Powell had tonight it was pointed out that he should also have mentioned that Councilor Bob Osterman claimed the fewest expenses at $717.

  4. Osterman claimed the least expenses because he is doing the Least. He wants councillor reports done away with so he won’t have to explain his lack of action for which he condemns others. He seems to feel they are as boring as open delegations…. Wrong, you get a Bong. Betty is everywhere… Right, she gets a Bingo!

    Councillor reports are important and one of the few opportunities to hear what they do.. otherwise we would assume they do nothing! ….. Wait, maybe they can include what they do to justify the expenses…. Jaimie with the largest expenses.

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