Economy now demands attention 0
Council rejected several options last week in favour of a 2.5 per cent increase in the 2012 mill rate. The increase takes many factors into account such as putting money aside into reserves and completing infrastructure projects, some of which have been on the books for some time.
Then there are factors over which the municipality holds no control and acts merely as a collection agency for the province - the Alberta School Foundation Fund and the Crowsnest Pass Seniors' Housing Authority. Municipalities are mandated to pay these funds whether they have the funds available or not.
There will be those who object to any tax increase whatsoever, and those who can swallow 2.5 per cent without difficulty.
The hardship for many is seeing what exactly they're getting for their money.
As we reach the halfway point in the current's council's term, it's interesting to note that the so-called "first pillar" of their strategic plan has received the bulk of attention.
Admittedly, governance and management is key to a well-run community, but it is not a legacy on which to hang your hat, nor is it a rallying point that taxpayers can get behind.
Just ask most European nations, the U.S., Japan, etc. where they want their governments to focus.
It's now time for council to turn their attention to their "second pillar" - economic sustainability. Without serious long-term plans developed to attract new businesses and expand the tax base, there won't be enough taxpayers left to carry the load.