Tax increase too much for seniors

The author takes issue with Ashcroft Council's decision to eliminate the Senior's discount on utilities and up utility rates for everyone.

Dear Editor

Upon reading The Journal’s Thursday, Aug. 17 edition that Council will eliminate the seniors 25 per cent discount on sewer and water rates and will also raise water rates 15 per cent annually, sewer rates 10 per cent annually for a five year duration as well as eliminating the additional home owner grant at five per cent /year for a period of five years I was compelled to raise my concerns. If anyone believes rates will go down after these five years…I’ve got a bridge in Ashcroft I’ll sell you.

Mayor Jeyes justifies this by saying seniors are better off now than they were 40 years ago. Regardless if they are better off they are only marginally better off and seniors have done their share already, they should not be regarded as a cash cow and expected to carry the brunt of a towns tax load. Councillor Mertens says “It’s going to be a hit for some”. Understatement!! Councillor Roden hates to say it but wanted to know how many seniors live in Ashcroft because “We’re foregoing a lot of income”. In other words “Let’s hit up the seniors”. Councillor Trill stated “He doesn’t like it but hoped that it would even our for everyone in the end”. Sounds to me like he worked with Justin Trudeau who said “The budget would balance itself”. These statements show a complete lack of regard for seniors and people who we are trying to attract to our community.

There is no plan in place for water meters yet but will be in place by 2020 further raising rates (i.e cost of installation, cost of paying staff to read them etc…). Furthermore they now also want to borrow half a million dollars for a new fire truck when it will cost $390,000 to purchase and they already have $192,041 in their reserve fund but are choosing to leave that alone for the time being.

If you disagree with this, which will further boost your taxes you can register your dismay and force council to take it to a referendum by signing a “electoral response form” which you can obtain at the Village office and hand it in to them before Oct. 13 at 4pm. It will require 148 of these forms to force a referendum so do not delay and leave this matter up to others. Every vote counts! I urge all eligible voters to do this and send council a message. Enough is enough. I sure wouldn’t like to see our logo change to “Welcome to Ashcroft, taxation awaits you”.

Grant Knowles

Ashcroft