June 16th, 2024

Tax predicament due to poor decisions in the past


By Lethbridge Herald on December 15, 2022.

Editor:

Thank you for realizing that the tax predicament the City of Lethbridge is in today isn’t primarily on the current council, it’s because of poor decisions in the past. 

Averaging the tax increase of last budget with the current approved budget comes in under three per cent over the past eight years. Inflation is currently six per cent plus. In effect the City is operating with less than half of the “extra” money needed to keep up with costs. The City is just like every homeowner, costs are increasing so what do we do to remain financially viable? 

Calgary and many other Alberta cities have averaged five per cent plus annually for the past eight years. Same province, same inflation.

The “angry” public need to look at the facts and face reality. Prices are not going down, costs are not going down, unions aren’t negotiating for wage decreases and neither are non-union staff. No city in Alberta did what the City of Lethbridge did in holding the line on taxes for four years but all it did was delay the inevitable. It works out to $12 a month for an average home in Lethbridge. No one likes it but a vast majority understand it. You are right when you say they “may” have the right to be angry but it’s not at council. Thankfully they don’t make decisions based on trying to get re-elected, they make them based on facts.

Brent Hansen

Lethbridge

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R.U.Serious

One thing is agreed upon: poor choices made by the previous council. However, this council continues to make many of the same mistakes, and some of the bad decision-makers are still on the council.
People are annoyed when they see money spent downtown to attract people who won’t come downtown because of the problems with the drug crisis that the council doesn’t care about. They watch as the impacts from these individuals cost millions in property taxes dollars, with no end in sight. Without addressing the problem that drove people away, $70 million has been spent to bring people to the slum area.
People are tired of seeing their money wasted on housing that should be funded by the province or indigenous projects that should be funded by the federal government.
They want something done, not studies or committees! People want the criminals gone and their city back.

ewingbt

Brent I have enjoyed some of your informed letters to the editor in the past and I do agree with this letter.
I looked at many of the other cities in Alberta and we are not out of line with their increases. There were bad decisions made by the last Council including cutting the LPS budget of over $1 million at a time when then needed an increase.
People are tired of seeing our city destroyed by criminals that many call the cities most vulnerable, but commit crimes daily on our streets, threaten residents, even assaulting them and want the issues gone.
I have been waiting for a total of local tax dollars paid from our property taxes that are paid out because of the impacts to our city from the addicts and homeless, and from my own conservative calculations find it over $10 million.
We are facing future cutbacks as more provincial and federal funding is slashed, more losses of services, inflation impacts our personal finances, perks we once enjoyed disappear, etc., and basically we are cutting back, while we see money blown on revitalization that will not work and the real issues, the criminals/drug addicts pillage our city with increased numbers and increasing their presence in illegal encampments that further erode our rights to enjoy our parks and city.
Everyone is tired and we want out city back! I could start a clothing store using all the clothes I have seen thrown away on the streets by these people who do not appreciate anything given to them.
People pass out food to them and the eat part and throw the rest on the ground along with the packaging, even with a garbage can within 2 feet from them.
We want our city back . . . no excuses . . . no more studies . . . action!

Last edited 1 year ago by ewingbt
gs172

One thing missing from your argument is that Lethbridge has the 2nd highest property taxes in Alberta https://www.zoocasa.com/blog/alberta-cities-with-the-highest-and-lowest-property-tax-rates-infographic/ I realize that this data is 4 years old but I don’t think municipalities have raised or lowered their taxes to make a huge difference in the standings