Comments on Owen Sound's High Taxes
7 Items found and displayed on 3 pages
Council Spending Trends
Jim Hutton   says ...
Some of these comments on the 2022 Budget are focusing in on the source of the problem. I was also alarmed that Council once again approved a budget increase that was larger than the cost of living' I decided to do a trend analysis of revenues from taxation and expenses from 2011 to 2020. I chose this period because the Audited Financial Statements were available for these years on the City's website. I found that the city’s revenues from taxation have grown steadily during this period. This revenue growth was largely driven by the growth in expenses. The total cost of all services was $40.1 million in 2011. These costs steadily increased at a rate of over $1.2 million per year to reach $52.4 million in 2020. That's an increase of $12.3 million or 30.7%The largest expense growth found was Transportation Services which grew my nearly 80% during this period. Given our size this is quite alarming. What I found most interesting is that there were 3 different Councils sitting during this period. The only constant was city staff. It would appear that there may be a culture of expected budget increases.

Admin:    Thanks you for sharing the details of past budgets. I'm sure this is one reason why we have such high taxes today.

Cost of Transit Service
Harry Combs   says ...
I was surprised to see that Council agreed to pay $500,000 more this year for Transit Services which I believe brings the total up to about $1.5 million per year. It looks like ridership is down and only about 7% of the population use this service. We have about 17,000 residents who are over 15 and able to use this service. 7% of this population is about 1,190 people using this service at a cost to all taxpayers of $1,500,000. That's $1260 per rider per year or about $105 per month per rider. So 93% of the population pay for 7% of the population to use transit. Just doesn't seem fair to me. What would happen if Owen Sound didn't provide transit service? Georgian Bluffs doesn't have transit service. Meaford doesn't have transit service, Why does Council keep asking Taxpayers to fund this dying service?

Admin:    I'm not sure that your math works out but you raise a very interesting question. That is do we really need Owen Sound Transit?

I was Expecting More Cuts
Bill Jones   says ...
Correct me if I'm wrong but as I recall the events council asked staff for a Budget with a small increase. Staff then brought back the Budget with a larger increase then requested. Then instead of Council sending it back again they voted to pass the budget as it was. I believe that only 3 councilors voted to send it back to staff. Did I get that right? If so why did they do this? They directed a budget with an increase at a certain then they when staff failed to deliver they said "that's OK" we'll just pass on the increase to taxpayers. The next time Council gives staff specific direction concerning the budget what do you think the odds are that they deliver as directed?

Admin:    I'm really not sure why they just accepted it. At least we have three Councilors that act responsibly

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