On 22 February 2019 the Cowichan Valley Citizen reported that Municipality of North Cowichan Councillor Kate Marsh is advocating new municipal taxes to fund a new Municipality of North Cowichan staff position to “specialize in climate change and environmental issues…”
In the words of the Cowichan Valley Citizen, “At the municipality’s council meeting on Feb. 20, Coun. Kate Marsh made a motion for staff to prepare a report on the logistics of hiring a person to specialize in climate change and environmental issues in North Cowichan.”
This motion will be debated at a future meeting of Municipality of North Cowichan Council.
We are concerned about the taxation implications of this motion. As reported in the Cowichan Valley Citizen,
“As part of its budget building process for 2019, North Cowichan is already considering hiring five new staff members, at a cost of approximately $505,000 annually, this year as it moves forward with plans to modernize operations in the coming months.
At a budget meeting earlier this month, staff suggested that with the recommendations for the new staff members, as well as other budgetary issues in 2019, municipal taxes could rise by four per cent, or even as high as seven per cent, in 2019 for the municipality’s property owners.
But Mayor Al Siebring cautioned that the municipality is far from finalizing its budget for the year, which it must do by May 15, and more discussions are planned.
“With adjustments, I expect that the tax increase this year could be in the three per cent range,” he said.”
Councillor Kate Marsh also represents the Municipality of North Cowichan on the Cowichan Valley Regional District Board, where, in 2018, she strongly supported the creation of two new taxes on all homeowners within the CVRD through Bylaws 4201 and 4202. Councillor Kate Marsh has a history of supporting new taxes and higher taxation rates.
At DuncanTaxpayers.ca we are very glad that Duncan residents rejected Amalgamation with the Municipality of North Cowichan in June 2018. Our Duncan taxes would have definitely increased under the Municipality of North Cowichan Council, especially with Councillors sympathetic to Kate Marsh’s views having a majority on the current M.N.C. Council.
Here is commentary from Don Swiatlowski, a retired accountant who is a Municipality of North Cowichan resident:
“Councillor Marsh wants to hire an Environmental Manager.
Is Councillor Marsh demonstrating her arbitrary, and high-handed contempt for the taxpayers of North Cowichan (MNC) as she pursues her ideological hobby of climate change at taxpayer expense?
Some examples include:
First, she initiated an environmental property tax, a tax that I think only MNC levies on its citizens and exists nowhere else in all of BC.
Secondly, she created a bank of sorts, to loan out the environmental tax to MNC’s departments; that in effect doubles the tax on property taxpayers, because the MNC departments have to budget the repayment of the loan to the bank, thus artificially inflating municipal costs, that were funded in the first place, with your property taxes and now have to be repaid by the municipal department with yet higher taxes.
Now, she is proposing to declare a climate emergency because the Capital Regional District (CRA) did. We all share the world’s atmosphere. What impact will MNC’s declaration of an emergency have on the world? I know it is going to cause our property taxes to rise for no benefit to us. How bizarre is that?
It appears that her rational for this hiring is to save the world. So, in true Trumpian style, she wants to declare a bogus state of climate emergency in MNC, when the real culprits of increased CO2 are China and India burning all of that coal to generate electricity and all that livestock spewing green house gases into the environment and all of those new folks added to the world’s population. Anything Ms. Marsh does will be less than the equivalent of a spec of dust in the environment. Yet at MNC’s level, this translates into a rise in our property taxes that will produce zero effect on the global atmosphere. No benefit for the taxes here.
Recently, MNC hired a consultant to look at staffing. The consultant did not recommend the hiring of an environmental manager. [note: emphasis added]
Kate Marsh also wants staff to prepare a report on climate emergency; this request was made right after she stated many reports already exist on the matter; so she is just wasting valuable staff time. Ms. Marsh is out of touch with management of this town and it is resulting in wasteful spending of our property taxes.
Councillor Christopher Justice thinks that funding for this proposed new staff position may be available from other levels of government. Well, if it is, it will only be short term or project related and once that funding dries up, the local taxpayers will have to eat that in higher property taxes. Bad decision.
Duncanites should be glad they turned down amalgamation with MNC [note: DuncanTaxpayers.ca totally agrees with on this statement on Amalgamation. Fighting Amalgamation in 2018 why the reason this website was started in the first place.].”
We will add more commentary on this as Councillor Marsh’s motion makes its way through North Cowichan Council.
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