Mayor’s Monthly Musings for January, 2011.
Attention Residents: A New Year Means a New Budget.
Council’s third year and final year of this term has come quickly. There is still much to be done, and many decisions to be made. This year is a time when it is even more important for residents to be attentive to what is happening both at Esquimalt’s Council table as well as what is happening within the region at the CRD’s Board table.
Decisions have been made over the past two years that have influence on our community’s well being. Some have been very positive while others may not be so.
Residents will have the opportunity this fall to determine whether they want and support the current direction, or if they feel change is needed. Voting during the municipal election is a very powerful tool and should be used by all who are eligible.
The Esquimalt community needs to take bold steps toward growth. We are blessed with the services that are provided within our municipality. We have our own recreation center, arena, and significant park system. Esquimalt has its own fire department and its own library. Esquimalt has a municipal police service and provides garbage services. When comparing this to other municipalities throughout the region, Esquimalt provides significant services. These services are paid for by the 17,000 residents and the businesses of Esquimalt through property taxes.
Businesses within Esquimalt, and most if not all municipalities, pay a higher tax rate than residential, and yet in Esquimalt, businesses make up a very small percentage of our tax base.
This is an important point because attracting more businesses within Esquimalt would provide the municipality with greater dollars for the provision of services, and allow the ability to provide the businesses with a better tax rate which would further encourage greater business numbers. Growth of our community is integral to these changes as businesses need customers.
At this time of year, Mayor and Council develop tax rates and policies. Council can move forward to set a tax climate which will fill those chronic business vacancies we see along Esquimalt Road. This can be significant for growth stimulation. Improving the social fabric of our community can only be supported in this way.
Council will begin the budget process on Feb 7, 2011. I encourage you to watch, listen and participate. It is your hard earned cash we will be deliberating about. Mayor and Council want and need to hear from you as to how we determine the taxation of those precious dollars we collect and how we spend them on your behalf.
Respectfully submitted by:
Mayor, Township of Esquimalt
To provide input on this topic, email Mayor Desjardins at firstname.lastname@example.org or post a comment on this blog.