Letter: Kelowna tax increases not sustainable

Kelowna’s rapidly increasing population has resulted in an ever-growing tax base … yet council still is unable to rein in spending.

To the editor:

Kelowna’s rapidly increasing population has resulted in an ever-growing tax base, and hence an ever increasing source of additional dollars without any increase in taxes.

In spite of this added tax income, council still is unable to rein in spending and is aiming for an average (3.86) per cent tax increase. What is worse, each year’s increase automatically becomes next year’s base line.

Alistair Waters, in his editorial of Dec. 21, unknowingly may have shed light on Kelowna’s inability to live within its means.

According to Mr. Waters, the city has committed to hire another 25 staff members and is now apparently trying to juggle budget numbers to try and find the money to pay for the new staff.

If so, this is a little backward. Normally, one secures the budget before positions are finalized or hiring is done.

With these 25 positions, the number of civic employees (presently reported at 788) will bloat to 813.

Can a small city the size of Kelowna really justify almost 1,000 civic employees? Does council understand that for every per cent more that taxes are ratcheted up each year, that means one less per cent each year taxpayers have left to spend?

Clearly this is not sustainable.

Robert Wilson, Kelowna