Sunday, September 21, 2014

Unsolicited comments for the Borrowing Referendum.

As mentioned before my opinion is that borrowed funds for water infrastructure costs should be repaid through general taxation just like any other infrastructure loan. It is more justifiable to use taxation for water infrastructure than it is to use it for ice rinks or performing art centres because our homes water infrastructure is directly connected to municipal infrastructure unlike he above mentioned facilities.

In 2004 the majority of taxpayers approved the borrowing of $35 million. The annual cost of servicing that loan is about $2.45 million or a mill rate of about 0.25. A property worth $400,000 would pay a tax of  $125 annually. 

Did you know that to impose a tax of $399.20 your property would have to be worth about $1,600,000?

Why do I say it is a tax? It's because the $399.20 base fee (tax)  is not related to either unit cost of water nor to property value. You pay it regardless of what your property value is or how much water you consume, if any.

This is a unique idea of a user pay system where one user pays $104.80 for 10 cubic meters of water for a unit cost of $10.48 while another pays $242.30 for 100 cubic meters for a unit cost of $2.42. At the same time we are encouraging customers to lower their usage so they would get a bonus of further rate increases.

Industrial, Commercial and Institutional customers also pay the base fee but only pay $1.50 per cubic meter even though their water fees are part of doing business and are tax deductible. 

Furthermore grazing lands, hay fields, fruit and other crops enjoy the same quality water with less restriction than domestic customers and at a fraction of the price at about $0.07 per cubic meters.

This is another reason to support the $70 million borrowing referendum. We will have the pleasure of paying even more unfair water rates in the future!


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The opinions expressed by "Coldstreamer" are strictly his own and do not represent the opinions of Coldstream Council!

Because I value your thoughtful opinions, I encourage you to add a comment to this discussion. Don't be offended if I edit your comments for clarity or to keep out questionable matters, however, and I may even delete off-topic comments.

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About Me

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I have been a resident of Coldstream since 1976. I have had 15 years of experience on Council, 3 years as Mayor. As a current Councillor I am working to achieve fair water and sewer rates and to ensure that taxpayers get fair treatment. The current direction regarding water supply is unsustainable and I am doing all I can to get the most cost effective water supply possible.