It’s that time of the year – the start of budget discussions.
In the past week, the City of Delta announced that it is proposing a 7.75-percent increase. It breaks down to 5.75 percent for operational services and a two per cent levy which would be used towards capital investments to improve the cities recreational facilities.
Last year saw a 4.9-percent property tax increase when it was all said and done, so the numbers this year certainly were a bit of a shock to us. I’m sure the numbers will not sit too well with many residents either.
I can see where the need is to create a larger funding pool for recreation facilities and services, especially considering the provincial housing numbers mandate, but isn’t this where the province must step in to help Delta and other cities improve their services and infrastructure? And to my knowledge, and correct me if I’m wrong, is this not the first time that the city has asked for a rec levy in a budget? Some more clarity on this would be appreciated.
As I wrote in a previous column about a month ago, how can the province expect Delta to build all this housing without improving the infrastructure to support it? And why should existing taxpayers pay for those improvements while new residents who may move to this community in these new houses in the future won’t be on the hook for the bill?
The city has an online survey and has been calling for public feedback as it works through the budget process, but the city must do a much better job of communicating this.
There should be a much longer timeframe for feedback.
What is the city afraid of? Public feedback, especially concerning a budget is vital to the process. So come on Delta. Let’s engage, let’s discuss and let’s come up with a budget that can work for all of us.