Thursday, October 19, 2006

Township Council Rushes To Spend Your Money Again?

Today's Province quotes Murrayville Travellers Hotel owner (and prominent community activist) Wally Martin as well as Township Councillor Kim Richter's opposition to a two-per cent tax hike on hotel rooms intended to fund a non-profit Langley tourism association/bureaucracy. You also just gotta go out and get the paper to check out its American gothic take-off picture of Wally and his wife!

This joint Township - City tax passed 6 to 3 with Township rookie Councillor Jordan Bateman spearheading the new tax. More taxes for his pet projects. Gotta love it!

Of course Langley City's going to go along with it! They co-finance this new bureaucracy with less than one fifth of the Township's contribution and for this miniscule contribution, they get more people and money into their cash cow casino! The City once again financially screws the Township while Township Council stupidly keeps twiddling their thumbs and continues navel-gazing. Fassbender's City Council has gotta be laughing at Bateman and Township all the way to the bank!

You gotta love Wally's quote in the Province: "council wants to chase a couple of eco-tourists through town, where they might have a sandwich at the deli and gaze at the Fraser River," he said. "We don't have a mountain. We don't have a beach. It doesn't make sense to spend the money to attract Vancouver visitors to Langley." Sounds right to this editor!

Richter is also quoted saying: "We need to boost tourism, but I'm not for rushing into it like this. It's not a good business case." Richter said the tax is expected to raise about $150,000 each year, while the cost of the association will be about $450,000. "I'm not sure if it's worth it," she said.

Richter suggested that they put it to a public hearing to get more info before rushing into this new tax. Ah come on Kim - why not finance another useless bureaucracy in Township hall without consultation? The taxpayer's pocket is bottomless.

Once again rookie Cllr. Bateman seems to be rushing in to raise taxes and probably increase Township spending without getting all the possible input and sides of this story. Scary because the last time Bateman rushed in and spent our money he spearheaded a $1.2 Million budget increase on the $3-4-5 million gold plated Grandstand!

But Wait! The story gets much better because attached is a copy of Wally Martin's complaint letter to BC Minister of Finance Carole Taylor saying that Council's decision to proceed with this tax should be denied because in essence Township Council did not do due diligence.

Meanwhile Bateman is preening all over his website about how he spearheaded this wonderful move to increase taxes! I'm sure Langley City Council will make him their poster boy of the month! Way to go, Buddy!

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