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Blue Blogging Soapbox
...rambling rants, thoughts and musings on mostly political topics - from your late night blogger.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Truly amazing - a local tax break 
(en francais)

It's always nice to see how motivated some councilors are during an election year. A tax reduction, no matter how small though, is welcome.

Now we just have to convince the City of Windsor to get out of business. Between the Golf Course, Convention Centre and the Marina the city is spending way too much time and money competing with local businesses.

The Cleary Convention Centre requires over $600,000 a year in subsidies. A public outcry forced the Cleary to relinquish a City catering contract that it had outbid a local business on. The Convention Centre is too small to attract large conventions and without them it doesn't seem to be able to turn a profit.

The Golf Course and Curling Club, while turning a small profit, takes up time of both staff and councilors to manage. As well, it is not being upgraded or improved due to the optics of spending 2 or 3 million dollars while people's basements are flooding. They also compete with other golf courses and banquet halls in the city.

The marina? Sell it with the a clause to maintain a public boat ramp. A quick look at the map on the linked site shows that there are no lack of marinas available in the Windsor Area. With 300 docks, fuel, and concessions the City is a direct competitor to numerous area businesses.

This doesn't even take into account the other White Elephant on Riverside Drive, the Chrysler Building. We're paying $70,000 a month for two bare floors of space that we can't rent and subsidizing the Chrysler parking garage to the point where it has drained our parking fund. Expropriation payments are 30% over estimations and the process is still not completed. Good example of why cities should not be developers.

Sell them and pay down the debt. A more aggressive debt reduction plan will allow the city to begin directing more money to the Capital Infrastructure budget. Deteriorating roads and sewers are core city responsibilities, not golf courses, marinas and convention centres.

A pat on the back is deserved for a reasonable budget, but I wouldn't be applauding too much. There is still a lot of work to be accomplished in a city that is only completing roughly 65% of recommended infrastructure projects.
City gives taxpayers a tiny bit of a break
Budget boosts road and sewer upgrades
Doug Schmidt, Windsor Star
Published: Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Mayor Eddie Francis and city council applauded themselves Monday night for delivering something most Windsorites haven't seen in a long time -- a tax break.

For the average local homeowner -- with a property valued at $150,000 and hit by an average 2006 assessment hike of 3.44 per cent -- the total city tax bill this year dips slightly to $2,595 from last year's $2,601.

City council unanimously approved a 2006 operating budget of $298.8 million, as well as a capital budget of $72.7 million that is heavy on boosted spending for roads and sewers upgrades.

$92 REDUCTION

The same average ratepayer whose property assessment remained unchanged this year can expect an even better break, a total tax rate cut of 3.5 per cent, or a $92 reduction over last year's bill, according to Onorio Colucci, acting city treasurer.

Paul Synnott at 6:33 AM    | en francais | Go to Top|


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