If my math is correct, with a tax increase of 3.38 per cent in 2019, 1.93 per cent in 2018 2.7 per cent in 2017, 2.35 per cent in 2016 and 1.22 per cent in 2015, my taxes will have gone up 11.58 per cent in five years.
If we assume the overall Canadian inflation rate in 2019 will be about 1.835 per cent (the average for the last four years), this leaves the average Kamloops property tax increase during the past five years higher than the total inflation rate for all of Canada in that same period.
My income hasn’t gone up 11 per cent in the last five years.
This prompted me to look at why the city thinks it needs more and more money.
As I reviewed capital expenditures on the city website, I noticed a disturbing amount of money being spent on amusement and diversion.
On its website, the city even brags about many tens of millions of dollars it spends on facilities so people can run around chasing pucks and balls — or just plain run around.
Taxes should never be imposed on people who are unlikely to benefit from the expenditures. Not everybody swims or skates. Everybody does use water, sewage systems, roads and sidewalks.
Taxes should not be used to compete with private businesses. There are existing private recreation facilities that could be bigger and more robust if they didn’t have a government behemoth with which to compete.
I always thought the reason cities had taxes was to help with essential services individuals would normally be unable to afford, such as reliable water systems, safe sewers and good roads.
Apparently, civic leaders — ours in particular — have other major, more vacuous priorities.