Is anyone beside Corisa Bell prepared to campaign against taxes?

November 3, 2011

By Robert Prince, The Bugel
October 12, 2011

Shooting From The Lip - Robert PrinceIs it just me, or have you, dear reader, also noticed that municipal politicians of all stripes have given up on campaigning against higher taxes?

Once upon a time, and it wasn’t that long ago in the greater scheme of things, the key feature in most municipal elections was a battle between those in the “tax and spend” camp, and those in the “cut taxes” camp.

That battle, however, has gone the way of the dodo bird, and the result has been non-stop property tax and fee increases year after year after year.

Yes every year, like clockwork, property taxes go up an average of four to six percent, far outpacing the rate of inflation (at least in recent years), and every year it’s almost guaranteed that service fees at municipal hall or any of the facilities it operates will climb a little bit higher.

So my question is this: When did it become a bad thing to campaign against tax increases?

Or perhaps the better question is: When did people decide they really don’t mind paying more and more taxes, year after year?

After all, people spend a lot of time complaining about how they’re sick to death of higher taxes. Perversely, they then vote for the same tax-hiking politicians who have proven repeatedly that they are only going to continue increasing taxes.

These voters can’t possibly be thinking such politicians are going to change their stripes if reelected, because these councillors keep approving higher taxes and fees, which means the politicians must believe that higher taxes are the right thing to do.

All of which can only mean that voters don’t really have a problem paying more to municipal governments annually.

But if that’s the case, why is there so much complaining about taxation, and so little praise for the politicians who are obviously only giving the people what they’ve been voting for: ie. tax and spend public policy.

I haven’t checked out all of the candidates for Maple Ridge council yet because the deadline for filing isn’t until Friday and I don’t know who they all are, but so far the only one who has contacted me with an anti-tax campaign platform is Corisa Bell, the anti-HST fighter.

I’m not endorsing Corisa… just pointing out that she’s the only one who appears to be bucking a trend that is fast becoming more than a trend… more like entrenched policy.

If there are any more anti-tax campaigners out there, it would be nice to see them on the ballot come November 19, if for no other reason than that it would at least force the “tax and spend” politicians to justify their annual tax hikes in an election campaign.

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