Mr Bjorn W. Meyer speaking on behalf of the Sparkling Hill Masters World Cup 2011 Organizing Committee made the following presentation to Council at the December 21 Council meeting:
Apparently, the only people who know how to spend taxpayers’ dollars are sitting in news media offices and writing editorials about it. They know that it is far more important to spend homeowners’ money on supporting well healed skiers’ tournaments then improving infrastructures of the community, providing services, such as water, sewer, protection services and other useless items.
These sages know that businesses benefit far more from these occasional visitors than from local residents who support businesses year around. After all, they reason, some of these business owners live in Coldstream where they pay their municipal taxes. Obviously, these taxes should be spent on subsidizing rich visitors so they would come back in the future expecting more subsidies. The fact that those businesses do pay business tax to the City at 2-3 times the rate of residential taxes is irrelevant.
Some of us backward politicians have a different view. We know that fully 87% of our tax revenues in Coldstream come from residential taxpayers not from businesses. These taxpayers do not benefit from the proposed events. My excuse for “missing the point” is that I do pay attention to the facts presented to me at Council meetings. This, unfortunately, tempers my urges of spending taxpayers’ dollars frivolously. Case in point is the attached presentation by Bjorn W. Meyer speaking on behalf of the Sparkling Hill Masters World Cup 2011 Organizing Committee.
He stressed that the participants of the tournaments “...are typically above average in financial circumstances...”. This to me indicated that they could well afford the $80,000 tournament organizers budgeted for government contribution. That would only be about $70 additional cost for each participant. It seems the Provincial and Federal Governments also realized this as they provide “...poor support...” for the tournament so the organizers want local governments to step up to more downloading.
As for the “...$4-6 million” injection to local economy: I always wonder how organizers calculate these substantial pay backs to taxpayers. How could I get a few morsels from these millions?
Mr Rolke believes that I am wrong in considering taxpayers’ contribution as a subsidy. The only other definition for donating taxpayers money is “charity”. Charity should be reserved for the less fortunate of our society and not the well healed segment of mostly out of area skiers. The present hype for the Olympics provide ample opportunity for the world to see our high quality snow and facilities. Compared to that exposure this event would be of negligible exposure.
The comment “...Kiss and Firman have had no problem accepting federal and provincial infrastructure dollars to stimulate the economy” is puzzling. What is the connection? I can only say: Mr Rolke is missing the point! That money comes from the taxpayers like you and I and is being spent for the benefit of taxpayers like you and I and not for the benefit of recreational skiers coming from various parts of the world.
Come to think Mr Rolke might not be as savvy as he appears to the casual observer. If he thinks he can do better there is always the next election: he can challenge a seat on Council, express to the taxpayers his preference of spending tax dollars and hope for the best.