And here is the rest of the story not reported in the papers.
Council approved a tax increase of 1.6% just below inflation. Looks very good. However, when combined with the utilities which incudes storm water, water and sanitary sewer wastewater, the overall increase in 4.06%. Ouch!
In addition, Council also decided to give a grant of $300,000 to Communitech to continue on with their start up companies. We’ve been doing this for a number of years. Iain Klugman when he appeared at the Public Session of the Budget night stated all the glowing achievements that have been taking place in Communitech and the exponential growth with many companies in the tech area exploding here in Kitchener. Wow. Great.
Now that we’ve achieved a great success in the Tannery and surrounding area we need to cut back our handout money. Coun. Yvonne Fernandes tabled a motion to reduce the grant by $100K and I moved an amendment to decrease it by $150K. It was defeated by an 8-3 vote with the only other support from Coun. John Gazzola.
Here we have many startups making tons of money and yet we can’t support other businesses and their employees that are closing down like Sears.
We councillors are handling OPM – Other People’s Money which is really taxpayers’ money.
This money to Communitech is taxpayers’ money. Money doesn’t grow on trees.
Sure I like to see success in the tech industry. But enough is enough. We’re not a charity handing out free money.
Yes, a lot of the budget items were wisely committed but the taxpayer has had enough of doling money out unnecessarily.
I didn’t support this budget due to high utility rates and free money to the tech people.