THUNDER BAY, ON – ---- February 23, 2012 ----- On Tuesday, Thunder Bay City Council approved in principal a 2.6 per cent property tax increase for 2012. While the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce strongly supports Council’s decision to allocate an additional 1.5 per cent in the capital budget towards infrastructure such as roads and bridges, the proposed increase of 2.6 per cent is much too high. The Chamber has been recommending that the Municipal tax increase for operating expenses be held at zero until other cost savings are identified.
Moreover, the supplementary water rate hike, currently slated to increase by 6.7 per cent, is a concern; we would remind Council that rate hikes on core services such as water and sewer are taxes by any other name and will result in unaffordable cost increases for business and homeowners alike. The Chamber has previously stated that it is prepared to assist the City in its review of core services and we are ready to collaborate effectively. We welcome the opportunity to bring our ideas forward in a meaningful way. For all of us, this must be a priority.
We remain engaged in ensuring that the Budget is implemented to maximize benefits to the City, the business community, and the tax payers.