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LETTER: City of Port Alberni needs to rethink financial priorities

Inflation’s too high for an eight-percent tax increase, says senior

To the Editor,

I almost choked when I read in the Alberni Valley News how the city wants to raise our property taxes by eight percent. Council will certainly ignite serious repercussions from the community, especially from seniors. How dare they even suggest an eight-percent raise. The community just went through two years-plus of hardship and sacrifice with the coronavirus pandemic and now high inflation. I’m not the city’s cash register.

Grocery prices have skyrocketed along with practically everything else we need because of inflation. Property taxes have long been the main pillar of local government finances but council is gouging property owners.

Perhaps mayor and council should reduce the raise they essentially gave themselves last year. A 40 percent raise is outrageous in this economic climate. If I walked into my employer’s office and said I want a 40 percent raise he or she would laugh and then show me the exit.

City roads are in disrepair with cluster fractures everywhere, and the lines are not painted. The city did part of the painting in the summer but never finished. I don’t want to hear excuses: council is now being paid big bucks and I expect them to move heaven and earth to fix these serious issues ASAP.

Why does council continue to put our precious tax dollars into the waterfront? We’ve all seen the serious problems with floods, earthquakes, and wildfires worldwide. Why would council allow development in an area that is in a tsunami zone?

What are they going to do about potential wildfires that could easily burn down our city? I’m referring to the forest at the top of Argyle Street and other potential areas with forest growth very close to the city. There is no fire barrier that separates homes from the forests. These are priorities, not the waterfront.

Bruce Gordon,

Port Alberni