Citizens of Nanaimo demand a revision of the proposed budget/tax increase for a revenue neutral 2022. No new increased spending/taxation.

The City of Nanaimo's website clearly states the following:  The Community Charter gives Council the authority to set budgets, levy taxes and establish policies to guide the growth, development and operation of the City for the benefit and protection of its residents.

We, the undersigned, believe that the Nanaimo City Council is violating its Charter by way of exorbitant spending and property tax hikes, disregarding the benefit and protection of its residents. 2022 is not a normal year.

Two years of pandemic restrictions and policies have critically injured businesses, incomes, employment, and increased the finanacial burden of all households (taxpayers) and the welfare of a majority of Nanaimo residents to cope with said restrictions and policies.

Inflation has seen a steep rise to 4.7% in 2021, the highest inflation rate Canada has seen since 2003 and is more than double the average pre-pandemic levels of about 2%.

Higher housing values means higher mortgages, increased rents, and still the City wants to increase the user rates  AND charge for water run off serving up another 14% increase in costs for residents.  Utility bills have gone up 58% in 5 years.

According to real estate sales, home property values have gone up 36-43% in 2021, and vacant land has gone up 87%.  There have been new builds in Nanaimo which will pad the coffers already in the amount of an additional $2,036,707.00.  Certainly, these tax incresases should be sufficient to cover fundamental needs first.

The Nanaimo Bulletin reported one week that Nanaimo needs a 2.9% increase, 3.4% the next, and 5.9% the next! It also reported that Coun. Tyler Brown feels "On any given issue, it seems like you can probably get five votes to support a position". This week Nanaimo announces it needs another  $1,000,000.00 for HVAC for the Port Theatre.  What will next week bring?  A small percentage of residents use the Theatre, perhaps raise the membership rates and ticket prices and let patrons pay for it.

We, the Nanaimo taxpayers, do not see any justification for such an unconscionable increase in spending/taxation when many of us are having difficulty meeting basic survival needs, let alone being able to go out to the Port Theatre in these extreme times.  We feel such an increase is irresponsible and unethical.  Nanaimo has an increasing homelessness problem.   Council's increased spending/taxation will create more poverty and homlessness among it's already struggling residents. 

The citizens require tax relief for 2022.  What projects is the city willing to suspend for a revenue neutral 2022 property tax as this is what the citizens want and need?


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