In what is seeming to be an ongoing trend, we here at the Saskatchewan Taxpayers Advocacy Group are the first outlet in Regina to bring you this breaking story. What began as a simple story where our dear Mayor Fougere was complaining that the Province is set to "reduce" the anticipated revenue sharing amount in 2014, has developed into a bit of a leak on social media, courtesy of the Chair of the Finance and Administration Committee.
Ward 6 City Councillor, Wade Murray, who was re-elected in the 2012 Civic Election by easily the fewest votes in all of Regina (sadly, those in his ward just don't get out to vote, making his victory a pretty easy one based on name recognition alone), posted the following on his Twitter account yesterday.
It would appear that Mr. Murray was simply trying to push his weight around, saying that he knows better than anyone else, just because he is the Chair of F&A Committee. What he apparently doesn't realize is that there are true economists and accountants out there who could budget better with their pinky finger than this self-proclaimed expert. I can't say I know much about Mr. Murray's education or employment background, but I do not think he has been trained in anything financial or otherwise. And, well, if he has, I think he needs to go and ask for a refund.
Thankfully, the Province came back swinging, stating that this should not be a surprise to any municipality, in that it is a formula that has been known for some time, and in fact, any reasonable person ought to have forecasted this all the way back in August, at the latest, based on the formula that is based on a percentage of the PST. Which, I might add, is something that the municipalities had been fighting for, for years now, for "fairness"....yet somehow this is the Province's fault now.
So, there you have it Regina. Get ready for AT LEAST a 3-4% Property Tax hike, straight from the horse's mouth. Now, keep in mind, this is only to account for this supposed "lost" revenue. We also have many other things that have been mentioned over the past few months that hinted toward the need to "find the money somewhere". In related news, expect to see the Grey Cup return to Saskatchewan by 2022, at the earliest - new stadium or no new stadium.
Further contribution from another member of the Saskatchewan Taxpayers Advocacy Group:
What is irrelevant about this is: a meager 2 million dollars shorted from Regina's overall yearly budget. A budget dedicated to a population as large as Regina's = 2 cents missing from a bank account of which the balance is 10,000.00. Enough remains in the bank to assure the missing money cannot cripple the services or cause to raise fees and taxes.
What is relevant about this is: Regina's financial books and bank account is not able to function when a few pennies are missing. Termination with cause exists at this time for all administrators who set up the city's financial book, and services plan based on the financial book. 3 to 4 % property tax increase cannot be justified just because a mere 2 million will be shorted from City Operations.
Regina pulls in 2 million dollars per year just from the few parking meters it has. Doubling the parking rates would cure the city's sick excuse for the need of more revenue, as a few pennies are missing from the bank - but, this does not have to be done either. All parking can be free without hurting the bank account. Simply cancel a few of the private contractors from outside of Saskatchewan that are doing City work normally performed by City of Regina staff. Terminate the inbreds who wrote the financial book and do not fill those positions as there is no need for them. Immediately Regina will have enough extra money to waive all parking fees for one year and still have money left over. The Commissionaires who currently write up the parking tickets will not be needed, the savings in wages can allow for free bus service for all disabled people and seniors over 52 for one full year.
There will remain still more money left to fund lunches of quality food for the many school kids in Regina who's homes function on, below or just above the poverty line. In fact, Regina could lower that poverty line, fulfill all of this and still have money left over.