Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Power and Water rates are a form of indirect taxation.

Power and water rates now in the hands of the cities and towns are simply a form of taxation. Need more cash? No more mill rate arguments; simply add it to the water or power bill.

What is lacking is the provincial controls and the public input. What is certain however is if you hold those same cities and towns Mayors and councils responsible at the ballet box, you can still have some controls.

The idea of indirect taxation through utilities is a good one. Costs of running the municipalities will be borne by the renters and users in general rather than a specific group of businesses. That is fine as far as it goes. This province however has given them an open cheque book to write and spend what they see fit.

Edmonton has recently found millions for the police force. I'm waiting for the hammer to fall on the utilities which will probably be used to make it up.

Devon has announced some big, costly improvements in that town after taking a 25% increase in water charges.

It seems we have taken more than one step back from process!
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