The recent column regarding councils “confiscating” money from the residents and misusing it, is not uncommon and deserves attention for it causes long-lasting negative results.
A case in point is the purchase of real estate with tax money collected from Osoyoos and area (Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen) residents to purchase the Home Building Supply property for the purpose of moving the museum into it. Why this building was selected over other properties, if they were considered at all, is a point of question.
What the foundation was regarding the purchase price is mysterious. Certainly at a time when everybody is aware of the slow and stagnant real estate market.
The property was bought for $1,236,000 while the assessed value was only $736,000. That is a half million dollars over and beyond reason. A 60 per cent, call it a bonus, for the seller. A mouth-watering deal by any standards if it happens at all in Vancouver. It does not appear to have been on the open market. The taxpayers will be saddled with a tax levy of $21 to support this for a long time to come.
A second case in point is not much money but still in the area of using confiscated residents’ money inappropriately. An Alberta company flying huge jets across Canada needed $18,000 for a consultant to study possibilities for the airstrip in Osoyoos. They asked for $5,000 from the town of Osoyoos towards it. A majority of council agreed to provide the $5,000. That is thinking outside the box in this area.
Just one more case in point is the $1,000,000 confiscated from the residents of Osoyoos over a period of five years which went to Destination Osoyoos for which zip benefits were obtained.