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Columns: CTF Challenges Municipal Candidates To Sign Contract With Taxpayers
By Jordan Bateman. As hundreds of municipal politicians gather in Vancouver today for the start of the Union of BC Municipalities conference, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) released the Contract with Taxpayers they will be challenging B.C. candidates to sign ahead of the November 19th municipal elections.
â€œTaxpayers are stretched thin and every level of government needs to do its part to lighten that burden.Property taxes have been an increasing drag on homeowners for years and our supporters are demanding a new, tougher approach on taxation from municipal candidates. This Contract with Taxpayers is a big step in that direction.â€ – Jordan Bateman
The Contract with Taxpayers includes ten points, including keeping tax increases at or below the provincial rate of inflation, encouraging direct democracy, supporting transparency in expenses and a Municipal Auditor General and resisting downloading from senior levels of government.
Candidates signing the Contract are also committing to introducing a Taxpayer Protection Bylaw in their community if elected. This bylaw would enshrine the Contractâ€™s principles and enforce a provision for a 15 per cent mayor and council pay cut if property taxes are raised beyond the rate of inflation without explicit public consent.
â€œItâ€™s not enough for politicians to talk tough on taxes during election timeâ€”we need to raise the bar.The Taxpayer Protection Bylaw would instruct municipal staff to come forward with budgets that are in line with the rate of inflation and ensure taxpayersâ€™ rights are put first and foremost in every civic decision. This has to be part of the DNA of city halls across B.C.â€ – Jordan Bateman
A list of candidates who sign the Contract with Taxpayers will be widely circulated by the CTF through email, web, press releases and social media, although this is not an endorsement by the organization.
The full Contract, backgrounder, and draft bylaw can be found here.
Jordan Bateman is the British Columbia Communications Director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation