An article (Penticton Western News, Feb. 28, Oliver preparing for increased policing costs) describes the actions planned for taxpayers by the town’s mayor and council by “preparing” us for the expected increase in policing costs when Oliver’s population breaks above 5,000 which is the point at which we are legally responsible for the full costs.
That is expected to happen in 2022 or four years from now.
According to the article, mayor and council want to increase the policing portion of our property taxes starting in 2019 to, says the mayor, make it “more palatable for a low increase year after year instead of a single impact increase” in 2022. However, that money won’t go to policing until we actually get to about the 5,000 mark. The additional taxes, which again would not be going to policing costs, would over the four year period amount to almost $269,000 or double what we are paying for policing now.
But if these extra taxes won’t be going for our protection, then where? The article says council plans to use the extra money for capital projects until the change in policing costs occur. Really? Well then, call it what it is — a tax grab, pure and simple. All capital projects must be justified by administration and council on the basis of need and not on the basis that money is simply available. If such projects are needed, then say so. Show accountability.
Such actions can only be defined as dishonest, even fraudulent. And it’s real money involved here — $269,000 of taxpayer money.
How can council spin this in any way to make it sound like it’s actually for the taxpayer’s benefit? Where is the honesty that taxpayers deserve and expect?
Council members, you need to step up with any honesty and integrity you have and deal fairly with the taxpayers of Oliver. Show accountability.