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Proposed downtown levy not likely a one-time deal

The Tribune recently ran several large articles (March 4) concerning the Baker Street redevelopment project supported by Mayor Karen Farbridge. You, of course, also have been reading about city hall’s new multi-year budget formula.
You now know what you can expect for the next four years if she is elected again in October.
With the new budget formula you can expect property tax increases every year which will be at least two or three times the rate of inflation, whether or not you’ve had a raise at work or not.
On top of that property tax increase will be dramatic increases in your hydro rates.
Of course, as water usage drops, water rates will increase annually over these same four years.
Now, if all of this does not depress you, you can now look forward to four years of a special property tax assessment to fund Karen’s grand downtown redevelopment program. If you are living on a fixed income or do not expect substantial annual wage increases, you should be very worried about your city costs and property taxes.
However, you will have lost your right to complain if you vote for Karen or any of those on the city council who support her point of view.
As well, let me plant this seed. Do you think if Karen is re-elected that the downtown redevelopment project will be the last grant project that she adds to her agenda? You know very well that the answer is that there will be another property tax-increasing project if Karen is re-elected.
Finally, do you believe that if the downtown redevelopment special property tax levy is put into place that it will end when the $60 million to $80 million projected cost for the city is paid off?
Certainly you know that the actual cost will probably be double what is forecast, since it is a government-run project. Secondly, you know full well that once a tax policy is put in place that even when the ballooning cost of the downtown redevelopment project is paid off, there will of course be another ‘worthwhile project’ for the special levy to fund.
If you vote for Karen you are voting for forever increasing hydro and water rates, annual property tax increases several times the cost of living index and a perpetual grand project special assessment.
If you vote for Karen or her crew, you have to understand that you’re opening your wallet and letting them take what they think  (not what you think) is appropriate. Vote accordingly in October.
David T. Starr

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