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2023 Tax Increase Debated

North Shore News, February 1, 2023

…artificial turf fields at Ecole Handsworth Secondary and Inter River Park hadn’t been included in the proposed financial plan, and some lamented the lack of 2023 funding for construction of a new neighbourhood park in the Delbrook Lands.

Couns. Herman Mah, Catherine Pope, Jordan Back and Jim Hanson, however, argued in favour of adding more sidewalks and bike lanes into the priority list.

“Make no mistake about it: these are not deferrals, they are cuts and they may or may not be included in budgets five years down the road. This is 2023 We have a climate emergency,” Pope said, adding that district residents could afford another half-per cent increase. “$12.50 per household in the District of North America. Seriously? We live in one of the wealthiest communities in Canada. The median income here is $120,000 a year, a quarter of all residents make $200,000-plus a year. This makes no sense to me on any level."

My Take: It is disappointing that despite various promises from council candidates during the election about funding new turf fields, they couldn't find the money for the new fields at Ecole Handsworth Secondary and Inter River Park. Council should be cautious with tax increases, and comments from Catherine Pope seem to be out of touch. She argues that since some District residents are higher earners, everyone should just accept higher and higher taxes to pay for various small pet projects. This is incredibly out of touch, and doesn't take into consideration younger people, new families, seniors on fixed incomes, and those who simply aren't high earners. Now isn't the best time to be raising taxes for pet projects, and more than is absolutely needed to keep pace with inflation, which was councils' previous strategy.

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