The CVRD’s proposed new water and watershed protection service and tax looks like nothing more than a cash grab. Some of the services the CVRD now wants us to pay for with an initial $15 per $100,000 tax appear to have been or are being provided already. If they aren’t, we should expect them to be paid for using grant money or existing budgets. Our property taxes have increased 33% over the past six years. The CVRD is in no position to plead need.
In Saltair, the CVRD knows we need to find between $4.57M and $6.85M for water treatment (filtration). The CVRD has known this for years, but nothing has happened. Instead of planning and finding grant money, the CVRD has spent $90,000 to find out if we can switch to well water, which most of us don’t want. Instead of reducing tax burdens in other areas, the CVRD spent close to $700,000 to purchase land and renovate an old school building, which we weren’t given the chance to vote on and most of us don’t want. To add insult to injury, the CVRD has dismissed a petition for a referendum about spending money on the old building signed by more than 628 Saltairians. Instead, the CVRD authorized spending up to another $300,000 on the old school building.
The CVRD’s proposed new water and watershed protection service looks like something we should all be able to support. However, until the CVRD shows some respect for fiscal prudence and direct democracy, we hope all CVRD residents will resist this new tax.