For the past few years, Canadians have been taking advantage of our dollar being worth about the same as the U.S. dollar. From buying up real estate to cross-border shopping, being on par with the U.S. dollar has had its advantages. However, in the last few months, economic factors have driven the Canadian dollar down. It may be time to regroup and look at some strategies to make the weakening dollar work for you.
Once again, Calgary city council has raised property taxes beyond the rate of inflation. No surprise. Over the past seven years, only once, in 2007, has council approved a tax increase below Calgary's inflation rate. The latest hike, 4.5 per cent in residential property taxes for 2015, is triple the average annual Statistics Canada inflation rate for the 2010-2014 period in Calgary
If you live in Calgary and you check your property tax bill this month, rest assured you are not imagining things: property taxes really are on the rise and way above inflation. Some background: Calgary's property tax bill has two components, with the city's share at 56 per cent and the province's at 44 per cent.
Golf revenues are slowly on the decline across Canada. Some B.C. leaders have missed the simplest way of fixing this problem: getting taxpayers out of the golf game all together. It's one thing for taxes to go to essentials like water, sewer or public safety, it's another thing to know you're subsidizing luxuries like municipal golf courses. If you can find a service listed on YellowPages.ca, government shouldn't be providing it.
Municipal elections are notable for their small turnout. In many communities across B.C., a few votes can make a big difference, which is why people concerned about high taxes and bloated spending need to vote to change the culture of their council -- and then hold their new leaders accountable for their decisions.
You may think that people should be collectively responsible for paying for the waste they cumulatively generate. Or you may feel that, like residents without children who oppose paying for schools, it should be a personal responsibility. Either way, Ontario appears to be behind in having these discussions.