Letter to the editor 1, March 3, 2016

Dear Editor,

Taxpayers often have problems comprehending the unwieldy numbers when governments talk about spending tens of millions or billions of dollars on projects, but now is a good time to look at some of the local government's spending habits in a different perspective, especially when most home owners have just received their property tax evaluations for 2016, 2017 and 2018. Here in St. Lazare we have some 6,500 homes, each paying between $2000 and $3500 (let’s say typically $2500 per home) in municipal taxes, so here is a different perspective to bring these spending costs down to a ‘personal’ basis, or a ‘grass roots’ level.

The recent acquisition of Dune Lake and surrounding property cost the equivalent of this year’s municipal taxes of 600 homes ($1,500,000).

The 2015 Gallop cost the equivalent of this year’s municipal taxes of 240 homes ($600,000).

The upcoming 2016 Gallop will cost the equivalent of this year’s municipal taxes of 140 homes ($350,000).

The new town hall will cost the equivalent of this year’s municipal taxes of 3,680 homes ($9,200,000).

Note: When taking a loan for the $9,200,000 for the new town hall, the interest over 30 years will at least double the number above.

Count the number of homes on your street, and check what that would pay for. Sounds like an ‘Easy Come – Easy Go’ type of administration, with your, and my, hard earned municipal tax money.

So think about it, your 2016 municipal taxes and those of your immediate neighbours combined, might just about pay for the hardwood floor in the mayor’s office of the new town hall, which is not really what most St. Lazare residents would have hoped their hard-earned municipal tax money would be used for.

So when looking at St. Lazare projects with this different perspective, is building nice new offices for 80 or 90 people who work for the taxpayers of St. Lazare, worth the 2016 municipal taxes of 3,680 homes, and is this of real benefit to all residents of St. Lazare?

Alan Nicol

St. Lazare

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