The following article by Focus Magazine was posted in the 2011 election general discussion thread but I feel it should be re-posted here as well since it concerns Mayor Fortin.
Poppycock at City Hall
By Patrick Murphy
Election season is upon Victoria, and for city taxpayers there is a serious issue of soaring property taxes, bloated City staff, and the veracity of council itself.
In a letter to ratepayers this year, Dean Fortin wrote: “For 2011, City Council approved an overall property tax increase of 3.96 percent.”
This is utter poppycock, and Fortin is treating voters as nitwits. Even the Times Colonist had to admit it was a minimum seven percent hike, but the reality is even more, for property assessments have risen and that means more taxes. [Read more]
Several excerpts from the article:
What compounds the problem is this council’s lack of vision. They were almost apoplectic about the condition of the Johnson Street Bridge, warning that it would fall into the sea taking all down with it if not replaced within two years. Oh, now this death-trap is good to go until 2015. Likewise, it had to be completed by March 31, 2011 to get federal funding. No work to-date as the bridge gives Victoria the finger.
Aside from the $100-million bridge that council tried to ram through with no consultation, and record tax increases, what have these ditherers accomplished?
Council twiddled its thumbs while the Provincial Capital Commission tried to take a BC Day event away from the founder; it shuffled around as the Harbour Authority allowed cruise ships to pollute taxpayers in James Bay; it kind of, nearly, maybe suggested a super marina in Victoria Harbour might not be a great thing; it hemmed and hawed on a super harbour airport; it jumped on the billion-dollar LRT program while abandoning a viable transit corridor into the city on the E&N line.
Let’s take the City’s own figures: According to the fact sheet, the general tax rate is up eight percent. That translates to 16.15 percent on a house with an average assessment increase.
Carry on down the list for this typical house: Total taxes up 10.82 percent, water rate up seven percent, sewer rate up nine percent, CRD sewer charge up 66 percent, police up 8.8 percent, schools up 2.5 percent and (shockingly) CRD levy down 15.8 per cent.