After reading that some Campbell River taxpayers upset about the rate of tax increases in the city, at the same time questioning the level of services provided, it looks like Campbell River needs or perspective from another city in another free-trade partner country, Mexico.
I own a home in the state of Nayarit, Mexico. My combined property and sewer/water tax on my view home overlooking the small oceanside city of La Penita de Jaltemba is roughly $99 per year.
Compare this number with the cost of doing business in Campbell River.
Granted, La Penita has basic city services – garbage, sewer, water and basic street maintenance – for this tax base.
The local politicians recognize slow global recovery, and there have been minimal tax increases over the past four years of property ownership.
Local initiatives for parks or infrastructure are in the form of “3 for 1” projects. This is the best of “voting with your actions.”
For every peso locals raise for local projects, the county and state each match it one for one.
This eliminates the problem of city hall bureaucrats finding a pet project to ensure their existence. Most bureaucracies around the planet are now struggling for funds to maintain infrastructure they were saddled with in their years of excess.
Campbell River City Hall can simply say this is the way it is done here.
However, with global trade and the ease of moving funds around the planet (not just city or province), Campbell River must wake up to global realities.
All major corporations on the planet can choose the most cost-effective place to do business. Campbell River City Hall must realize the demise of Catalyst Paper, as Campbell River’s golden goose, was a great loss and mistake.
The way Campbell River treated this major investment, or employer, is well-documented for all global CEOs to take note.
I recently heard a long-term resident commenting they recognized everyone on their recent Comox-to-Alberta direct flight.
These absentee parents, or the loss of families to Alberta, may not provide the best outcomes for Campbell River.
Fortunately, recently announced Crown corporation and taxpayer funded projects will provide some relief for Campbell River, and hopefully, with a change of attitude, the global business community might step up to the plate in the future.
Ignoring all City of Campbell River rhetoric, there are many other locations on the planet where business is truly welcome.
The workforce and investors of Mexico, or China and many other developing countries, thank you for taking this head-in-the-sand stance.