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  • Town Council blame tax increases on province, but not concerned about their own increases

    I would like to express my concern over the present property tax situation in Chestermere. It would seem that the Mayor is deeply concerned with the provincial education tax increase that will see all Chestermere residents paying about $400.00 more per year in property taxes.

    This is a pleasant and surprising change because my property tax has increased by 34% last year plus other increases in prior years and no one at Town Council showed any concern about these increases. We have a “garbage pick up charge” and storm drain charge” added to utility bills. The storm drain charge was previously included in the property tax but when it was separated there was no reduction in the property tax to compensate for it. We are restricted to number and size of garbage bags and taxed further if we are forced to buy more “garbage tags” to cover any extra garbage; strangely we get no refund if we have less than the allowed number of garbage bags.

    Town Council has seemingly known no bounds in their effort to have us pay more taxes. I can only assume that much of it has to do with things like our fabulous library (in these days of internet why do libraries even exist?).

    In my area our assessments skyrocketed last year; I was told that the previous assessor had retired or passed away and his replacement (a company from Ontario) had done a more “fair”assessment. My neighbours and I had to take time off of work to visit an “open house” and argue this – even that did not resolve it; more time had to be spent on the telephone with the President of this Ontario company to get a slight reduction in the assessment. It still resulted in the 34% increase.

    I would say that the $400.00 increase is small potatoes compared to what has already been done in property tax increases; but AH-HAH! Ladies and gentlemen of Chestermere, this is a Town Council election year! There is obvious good reason to blame a tax increase on the province. Cast your ballots with care this year my friends. There really must be some alternatives.

    Steve Staples

    2 Comments

    1. Jude Pittman

      April 13, 2013 at 12:42 pm

      I could not agree with you more – sometimes a council housecleaning – starting at the top will accomplish what no amount of petitions or demonstrations can ever accomplish. Politicans (like small children) listen a lot better when they know you’re going to follow through with your threatened punishment. Remember the status quo is usually maintained by the same old voters voting the same old way — whereas more residents getting out and taking the time to make their voices heard at the polling boxes very often result in big changes.

    2. Natasha

      April 15, 2013 at 7:12 pm

      I share the concern expressed by the author of the article above. Our household property tax increases put us in the situation when we have to face the decision of staying here or leaving Chestermere. I understand we might want to build new pergola. But if cost looks inappropriate and more than we can afford, at least in our family, we don’t go forward. We try to live by our means in our household and would expect the same from the town administration. I believe, the Town should adjust its own expenses, revisit decisions made about water and garbage pick-up payments and reassess the values of our properties as last assessment does not reflect the current property value.
      Also, one would expect that Town Council plans for and deals with something like education tax increases that it won’t hit its residents.
      thank you.