City taxes, payroll and debt
Q1: My property taxes increased, a total of 27%, between 2013 and 2017. Part was in tax increases and part increases on evaluation -- about 6.75% increase per year. I’ve lived in Aylmer since 1998 I never saw such increases in the past. Who gets this much annual increase in their income! What justifies such tax increases?
Q2: Gatineau's budget shows payroll costs for the City, between 2013 to 2017, as 2013 - 46%, 2014 - 47.2%, 2015 - 47.1%. Starting 2016, the city stopped showing how much % of budget goes to payrolls. It is almost half the budget. If you add approximately 12% interest on city debt (which never is paid down despite the increases of tax revenues), about 60% of the budget goes to payroll (and pensions), plus debt servicing.
Does Council have any plan for reducing the payroll and debt since the City has a debt about size of its budget?
Does it sound right to taxpayers that this is how our taxes are spent?
Q3: Low mortgage rates in the last decade contributed to house price increases, and since economists predict that interest rates will now go up -- and so will mortgage rates – we can assume that the increase in mortgage rates or an economic downturn could cause house prices to go down 20%. My question: Would our property taxes be reduced 20%, or should the city keep them constant since it can't pay its way with its present budgeting?
Council cannot spend money as they’ve spent it over the years. Isn’t it time to make drastic changes in managing the City’s budget and our taxes?
I also thank Councillor Duggan for suggesting the salary freeze for City Councillors last year.