Mission council’s decision late 2019 to raise 2020 taxes by 4.39 per cent was irresponsible.
Any increase above the rate of inflation is unsustainable (continued increases at this rate would double taxes in 17 years).
This was also highly insensitive to taxpayers’ rising levels of financial distress.
Then the world economy was suddenly decimated by the pandemic – which thrust the world into a depression that’ll likely be even worse than the Great Depression.
Yet Mission council saw no reason to trim their tax increase.
One councillor, reflecting citizens’ financial hardship, had the courage to suggest reconsideration of the tax increase.
Another councillor accused him of “grandstanding.”
The mayor and other councillors ducked the challenge to do-right by taxpayers, stating it was too late for reconsideration, and indicating they’d look at it next year.
By contrast, Vancouver’s mayor and council are leading by example – taking a 10 per cent pay cut – matching the 10 per cent reduction in management salaries.
Vancouver is also reducing the police budget by one per cent.
Tough times demand difficult decisions.
It’s time for Mission council to measure up to the greatest challenge of our times.