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Many of us cannot afford to live here

Over a year ago I thought it would be a good idea to run for council.  Well the old saying goes “Put your money where your mouth is” and I had been critical of council in the past.
How hard can it be? My husband ran for Town Council a few – well quite a few years ao.  He did not campaign,  someone put up few signs for him once and I had to take them down the next morning in the rain. He led the polls in Picton.
Well, times have changed, up went signs all over Picton; candidates were knocking on doors and ads were running in the papers.
So, I lost. No signs, no knocking on doors. What I did have was a desire to make The County, as we natives call it, a better place to live.
I did have a few old friends who voted for me but I found out I did not know most of the people in Picton.  I knew everyone back in the 80s.
The new (with a lot of the old) council has been in power for over a year now.  They hired a new CAO who I thought wanted to run the EDO but it seems that was not the case since he went out and hired someone new to help him out.
It was my understanding when I ran for council that we should cut the spending since the provincial and the federal government and the county have huge deficits as well as having very little reserve funds.
Now I see in the paper that the new CAO wants to increase the tax levy.  Where are the people going to get the money to pay these new taxes? Water and sewer in Picton costs a fortune and are going up all the time.  The old council made some bad mistakes with the water and sewer plant.  Hydro is going up 46 per cent over a few years because of Dalton’s Green Energy Act.  The HST takes a big bite out of everything we buy and use.
Well council, if you are going to charge us more to live here in the County, some of us will have to find a new place to live as many of us cannot  afford to stay here.
I hate to mention a new reason why people are not moving to the County but ask any real estate person and they will tell you.
Doris Lane

Filed Under: Letters and Opinion

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  1. Dayton Johnson says:

    K,,,give your head a shake!,,When you were in the tourism business did you feel the same way? And are you including taxing all campsites at our County Prov. Parks? After all the Parks clientele far out number the private operators customers. What’s your suggestion to collecting this $5.00 tax from them? Your private operator probably lives here year round,shops locally and perhaps employs local help. They pay enough tax now especially if it’s on waterfront.Can we say the same for SandBanks? Attitude needs to change here and stop road-blocking the County taxpayer.

  2. Chris Keen says:

    This is the so-called “tax” that was levied in Belleville:

    “The Quinte Accommodation and Attraction Partnership (QAAP) has been formed with the intent of funding the Bay of Quinte Tourist Council. Five area hotels — Belleville’s Best Western, Holiday Inn Express and Ramada Inn, Fairfield Inn and Suites and Trenton’s Holiday Inn — will all begin charging an addition one per cent for room rentals beginning Jan. 1. The levy is estimated to increase the average room rental by $1.

    Ryan Williams, Bay of Quinte Tourist Council president, said the new levy is expected to generate $135,000 in 2012.

    “That money’s going to be used to subsidize Bay of Quinte Tourist Council to keep working on our attractions and driving tourism through the area,” Williams said. “We’re really boosting efforts that have already been done and making sure they’re being done really effectively.”

    [Belleville Intelligencer]

  3. Elizabeth Globe says:

    More user fees? Are you going to suggest that the tax be charged on people own a house/cottage here but do not use it all the time and as a result rent it out to help them afford it? We are not Kingston here and a great deal of the businesses around here, mine included, rely heavily on tourism. I may not rent accommodation however I supply a service that is used by some by the people who do. Should I pay this tax because I work with the tourist industry?

    We need to attract industry and more tourism to increase the tax base, not charge another fee.

  4. Lori Cairns says:

    I totally agree that it is time for a tourist tax. Belleville now has a plan set up to tax tourists. Why can’t we? 25,000 people cannot afford to pay for the services used by 500,000+. Tourists won’t stop coming because of a tourist tax. Kingston has made out just fine.

    We are all tapped out. Don’t come looking for more tax money from permanent residents. You won’t find any.

  5. Karen Smith says:

    Council needs to consider an idea that other municipalities have successfully implemented that should work wonderfully here, and that is a municipal tax on tourism – each cottage, campsite, and/or b/b rental, for instance. Perhaps a $5.00 tax on each accommodation. K

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