Maple Ridge Property Taxes

October 28, 2011

Corisa Bell for Maple Ridge Council
Question asked at the Maple Ridge All Candidates meeting in Fraserview where candidates, including Corisa Bell, addressed specific questions.

Preamble: Going by election dates the increase in property taxes from the 2008 election to the 2011 election has been 11% for some residents. If we go back further and measure from 2005 election to the 2011 election the increase in property taxes is 28% for some residents. According to city documents the property taxes on an average strata unit in this area have increased 2.75%. This latest increase though comes on the heels of year after year property tax increases.

Aside from the need to develop more commercial opportunities to offset the residential to commercial tax base what can be done about controlling property taxes? These increases are especially hard on seniors with a fixed incomes and families starting out. Holding the line on property taxes means either cuts in services or scaling back plans for the city, and yet increasing property taxes creates hardship and provides funds for initiatives that some in the city don’t support or benefit from.

Question: Please state whether you consider yourself to be someone who is more comfortable raising taxes to ensure current planned expenditures are covered, or more comfortable holding the line on taxes so that households have more disposal income to spend as they see fit.

People’s ability to pay increased property taxes has become essentially maxed out. The list of houses being sold due to failure to pay property taxes this year is extremely long. The cost of living is at an all–]time high, we are being hit with never ending taxes, user fees, service fees and it’s showing no signs of slowing down. I think of what it would be like for me to spend my paycheck to accumulate more and more monthly bills, and each month expect my boss to give me a larger paycheck.

At some point we have to evaluate our current expenditures (not just services) and determine what we need and what we can do without, what we can do better or do differently, and start looking at making things more efficient instead of looking for more money. We need to do more with less. We need to involve the community, we need to create more volunteer opportunities, and we need to get everyone on board to move our community forward. The leadership and that example needs to come from the city, so people feel like they are part of a much bigger picture for their community.

Lastly, from an economic perspective, we are in a recession and people without disposable income arenft going to be able to stimulate the economy. I question whether or not some people in politics have any idea what it’s like to live paycheck to paycheck or to have to plan for life as a senior without a government sized pension.

To summarize, as a city we need to grow within our means and plan accordingly.

Corisa Bell (
Click here to download responses to all 9 questions in PDF form




Follow Corisa Bell on Twitter Contact Corisa Bell Corisa Bell on Facebook Corisa Bell on Instagram