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ELECTIONS 2014: Candidates tackle taxes

November 05, 2014 - 1:42 PM

WOULD SERVICE LEVELS NEED TO CHANGE?

KAMLOOPS - There is a lot of information to sort through as we head into elections, so we decided to make the candidates answer a series of five questions as directly as possible, and in as few characters as possible.

First we looked at the proposed Ajax Mine, today we asked about taxes. Candidates were not given any direction on how to answer, other than it had to be in Twitter format, 140 characters or less, and in no more than a series of five ‘tweets’.

Every candidate responded except mayoral candidate Ben James and city council candidate Reo Rocheleau. Their unedited answers are in alphabetical order below.

MAYORAL CANDIDATES

Pierre Filisetti: Fiscal prudence, transparency and 100% accountability applied consistently to every department and to every project, regardless of size; Better specifications and better supervision will deliver longer lasting projects; A clear vision for our city’s future will ensure a more focused priority list; Connections and cronyism should not be the reasons behind employment with the city

Peter Milobar: important to keep as low as possible without undermining important core services an infrastructure  

Dallas Paisley: Property taxes will be lowered 1%/year I'm in office; 0 tax for first 3 months of starting a New business; Commercial taxes will be lowered 1%/ year I'm in office

COUNCILLOR CANDIDATES

Nancy Bepple: Taxes and utility charges pay for services which citizens want: police protection, fire protection, parks and rec, transit, road maintenance and more.; City council should raise taxes as little as possible while at same time provide services people want (e.g. more policing) & meet regulations (e.g. water treatment)
 
Donovan Cavers: I support a reasoned approach to city budgeting. Federal inflation is an ongoing form of downloading that municipalities face.

Ken Christian: Property tax should be kept at or around the rate of inflation. User fees need work.

Nelly Dever: concerned w general reserve fund-need to get tight fisted-long-term planning is crucial-GRF needs to become a priority

Bob Dieno: See the city say tax rate (say 1%) for year – staff must work within that budget; I do not like the current process of starting at 6% and managed to work it down; build the business tax base which will take pressure off the homeowner; get rid of the philosophy “spend it because we have it” spend what you need return the rest

Dieter Dudy: Continued increases of taxation is unsustainable we need to identify inefficiencies and redundancies in an effort to reduce costs and ultimately taxes.

Annette Glover: Only one taxpayer pocket for all levels of government; downloading and reduced programs at higher levels is discouraging – lobbying and advocacy to do our best to improve is in order.;  I also believe there are community safety options we can explore and QMS civic governance potential ideas.

Jenny Green: Mindful of tax dollars being spent and review of city budget for inefficiencies/transparency.

Brad Harrison: External CORE review, run every term to find efficiencies, reduce waste and find ways to cut taxes while not reducing services.

Tanja Hasler: increases must be minimized or not increased at all. Savings must be found
within current department expenditures.

Glenn Hilke: Freeze taxes for 2 years until we have time to review budgets actual,promised and planned then see what we can cut

Peter Kerek: Get more people onto buses & bring down growing costs of road maintenance and construction. Long-term savings and efficiencies are there.
 
Tina Lange: Average house $7.64 per day 4 taxes and utilities  great value  for parks water garbage sewer transit police fire protection & more!

Dustin McIntyre: Being conscious of spending and taxation should be #1 priority for #kamloops council. Raising taxes by only inflation is my priority

Andrew Miller: The city needs to address its spending. I wholeheartedly agree with paying taxes to maintain the life that I am used to, but a tax increase…; As a taxpayer, I want more transparency in regards to where my tax dollars are placed and I want to see value in what my taxes are doing.; I want to see decisions that make sense! We must start thinking of needs and wants. Did we really NEED the roundabout at 12th and Nicola…; All the chain link fencing around Prince Charles Park NEEDED to be replaced and those parking meters downtown were NEEDED. Did City Council…; It is all about decisions and as an outsider looking in a lot of these look like bad decisions and its time for a change!

Daphane Nelson: Direct management to reduce budgets in order for taxes to remain either low or unchanged

Mike O’Reilly: Hold the line on increases w/inflation. Review user fees at city facilities. Spend smarter, not more

Andy Philpot: Work within the budget to ensure the financial plan balances with the services demanded by the public while paying attention to the economy

Cheryl Phippen: My goal is to ensure that taxpayers get good value for their tax dollars. The City provides essential services, I want that value maximized.

Alexandra Proctor: Citizens want reasonable tax levels which pay for the services we want - snow removal, roads, sidewalks, biking trails, transit & parks.

Peter Sharp: Taxes need to be examined to see if we can reduce them were ever possible. Residents must know all moneys are best being utilized
 
Arjun Singh: Have opposed tax increases above inflation - over about 2% yearly. Would like 2 explore a zero tax increase 1 year in next 4. #kamloops

Bernadette Siracky: Necessary to ensure a well maintained City and a vibrant social and cultural community. Business expansion and attraction very helpful here.

Marg Spina: Keep City Taxes and Fees low and affordable, Prioritize asset management

Glen Thompson: Kam taxes are 2 high relative to other cities our size, $24 Mil airport rd is too much & $5 Newspaper building that has no use > puzzling

Pat Wallace: According a current Survey, Kamloopsians that responded have indicated the present level of Taxes and Services are acceptable.; The same people indicated their preference is a user Pay Policy.
 
Denis Walsh: Embrace responsible spending through transparent budgets, common sense, and a participatory budgeting process.; Council must be mindful of your tax dollars & control city spending.

Also read:
Candidates take on Ajax

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jennifer Stahn at jstahn@infonews.ca or call 250-819-3723. To contact an editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014
InfoTel News Ltd

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