THUNDER BAY – Its budget time and the city is warning taxpayers to brace themselves for hefty tax increases.
I suggest administration re-read the report from the Chamber of Commerce that states if spending continues at the present rate taxes will reach alarming levels. The taxes in Thunder Bay are one of the highest in the country when you compare property value to taxes. Many of our citizens are having a hard time coping with the high water and tax rates. That would include the elderly on fixed incomes and many young people who are attempting to own a home and raise a family.
Administration needs to get their priorities straight and forget about borrowing more money and raising taxes. The city’s debt increased about $l5 million dollars this year and now stands at around $184 million dollars.
City manager Tim Commisso can start by stopping the flow of more money into the Waterfront which has gobbled up tens of millions of dollars over the last several years in tax dollars and is crippling this city.
The city has recently spent $4 million dollars on a study to build a new hockey rink at the Waterfront, a study that went more than a million dollars over budget. The proposed cost of this rink has more than doubled in price from about $50 million dollars to well over $100 million dollars.
Mr. Commisso late last year tried unsuccessfully to add another 1% to the budget for snow removal costs after the budget was set and passed. Under his watch city seasonal workers that work on road repairs were laid off early. ( many roads were left with cracks and potholes.) Municipal Golf Course was sold, and the city tried unsuccessfully to close the Conservatory. Chapples outdoor hockey rink that has been around for over 60 years has been closed and the public has had to fight to keep Heath and Dease pools
The citizens of our city want the basic services and programs maintained. We want roads and a city that are safe. Mr. Commisso has been a big disappointment. His priorities are hurting the city and many of its citizens. He needs to re-read the report from the Chamber of Commerce and change direction. Failing this he should resign.
Raymond A. Smith- Chairman
Concerned Taxpayers of Thunder Bay
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