LETTER: Saanich resident trashes garbage fee hike

I have recently been reading the mayor of Saanich’s comments on staff integrity and accountability to the taxpayers of Saanich.

One issue I have with the current District of Saanich staff is their effectiveness at quietly passing hidden taxation. The fees for our required carts, that we place our garbage in, have been granted an apparent increase of approximately nine per cent over last year.

I contacted the garbage department and inquired as to why the increase occurred – wages, fuel costs, new trucks? I was politely told that the cart fees are to pay for the dumping charges, and nothing more.

I asked if the dumping charges had increased by nine per cent and was informed that they had not. In fact there had been no increase. I then asked, had there been nine per cent more garbage collected, which in my layman’s understanding, could drive up the cost. I was again told no. I was told that there was a small increase, but not even close to one per cent, and that the extra carts that had been delivered to new customers had covered those costs.

I asked why would mayor and council allow our rates to change without any justification for these excessive increases. I expressed, that no municipal politician would ever increase taxes by nine per cent and expect to be re-elected. The staff members I spoke with both apologized for the situation, but couldn’t provide me with any logical explanation. And nobody I’ve spoken with can.

This is a form of hidden taxation, which cannot be overlooked. I accept that this is not the most headline grabbing subject, but strongly believe that the retraction of this tax grab must be followed through with.

James Smith

Saanich

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