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Where have our Tax Dollars Gone?

A growing cost for taxpayers is the infrastructure expense (water, sewer, etc) of many new developments. These have always been charged to the developer, but increasingly, the Development Cost Levies (DCL) and Community Amenity Contributions (CAC) have been forgiven and density increased in exchange for some promised form of social housing at the bottom of a building.  


Who is picking up the slack for these costs?..... You, the taxpayer, the renter and all the small business already facing financial stress to remain open. 


Question: Who are we building for when there are currently 40,000 new market homes in the pipeline with most costing more than $1250/sq ft and demand has slowed due to: 


  • Lower out of province demand / empty homes tax and speculation tax

  • Less laundered money being available to purchase real estate 

  • Uncertainty in the market place post Covid 19

  • Tighter regulation on Airbnb’s that used to take away from rental stock 


Time to stop and review the immediate benefits / needs of proposed capital projects and expenditures at City Hall, such as:


  • Non-essential road works, such as narrowing Nanaimo Street, until our economy improves 

  • Elevated walkway and bike lane on Granville St Bridge

  • Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts: Maintain/earthquake proof instead of tearing them down

  • Proposed work on the English Bay Seawall

  • Cut back the Communications staff at City Hall. The department has grown from six to forty four in just 12 years! 

  • Streamline permitting process, fast track proven, accredited architects for projects that do not require rezoning

  • Efficiently approve permit applications for home/condo renovations online


Get Back 2 Basics: 


  • Maintain and support services for first responders: police, firefighters, paramedics, rather than cut back, as proposed by the Mayor

  • Maintain roads, sidewalks and current bike lanes

  • Pick up the garbage

  • Maintain public spaces

  • Continue ongoing work on sewer separation so our ocean water and beaches remain clean


We are sure there are more services that we could afford but won’t be able to (as Mayor Stewart says), if large swaths of projects aren’t cut from the budget. 


For years the only questions City Hall has you want higher taxes or less services? We need a reset on the City’s priorities and way of doing business. We need to get it right before it’s too late. 


Let us know your thoughts. It’s your city, get involved! 


Your Back2Basics friends.


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