Letters: Don’t pay for parks

Letter writer feels Sooke should not pay for CRD parks

At the finance and administration committee meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 4, a 7.1 per cent increase in the sewer parcel tax was recommended, raising it $552. A 2 per cent property tax increase was also proposed by the Mayor.

I object to my property taxes being raised by a council elected on the platform of tax reduction. The main reason my municipal taxes didn’t go up in 2012 was a massive decrease in my property value, not any financial brilliance on the part of elected officials. Even the reduction in delegated spending authority turns out to have been a huge mistake, hobbling day to day operations and damaging vendor relationships with unpaid bills.

A primary role of a local government is to defend the interests of its rate payers against outside interests, and this administration is not doing any better job of that than the last one. One of those interests is access to our back country, which is now prohibited by control bought and paid for with a CRD tax increase, also used to issue bylaw infraction tickets to our youth, whom are simply camping out by the community lakes. Enough already.

Sooke voted against the increase in the Land Acquisition Tax, yet our officials wander around claiming there is nothing they can do about it because of the big bad CRD bully.

There is something that can be done about it. Local Government Act Division 4.5 – Dispute Resolution in Relation to Services. With one process the district can negotiate an off-setting tax reduction to net the increase in local taxes to zero, and make the damn fools at the CRD board realize that we don’t have to pay for park acquisitions that will lock us out of our own back country.

Terrance Martin

Sooke