City Q9: 20 Questions for Langley City Council candidates

 

Ted Schaffer (for Mayor)– Indirectly the Casino revenue is reducing property taxes. Council made a fiscally responsible and proactive decision to ensure Casino funds went to infrastructure renewal and capital projects. Langley City continues to be a DEBT FREE community and continues to have one of the lowest mill rates in Metro Vancouver.

Paul Albrecht – Don’t know. That said there is a danger in creating dependency on the casino revenue stream that may fluctuate with the economy. I am open to discussing the use of the casino revenues to help pay for necessary infrastructure improvements and/or replacement. 

Dave Hall – Yes, the Casino Revenues should be more directly targeted to infrastructure renewal and functional local need and this would have the effect of reducing the infrastructure levy of current taxation.

Miriam Marshall – No. The casino revenues have been a great help to the City and have assist us in achieving our debt free status and a fully paid for Timms Centre.  It is no secret that our infrastructure is ageing and will be in need of great repair, which will be costly.  I would suggest applying the revenues towards infrastructure improvements.  Casino revenues are unstable and have been decreasing; therefore, we cannot become reliant on them.  However, we can be opportunistic and apply them strategically.  If these funds are invested in infrastructure that will help offset the inevitable improvements/large costs, I believe this will reduce the need for larger income tax increases in the future. 

Gayle Martin – No, as the proceeds are indirectly reducing property taxes now.  Approximately 90% of casino proceeds go toward our capital plan for infrastructure.  This allows the city to repair, upgrade or replace infrastructure without raising property taxes as the money is there. The new Timms centre is an example, no property tax increase for the 14 million dollars being spent on the centre, casino proceeds were put away for a few years prior to commencing the construction. 

Nathan Pachal – No. The City uses casino revenue to pay for capital projects. If the casino revenue was used to lower property taxes, the City infrastructure would start to crumble. Deferring maintenance to future years would cause a deterioration of the quality of life in our community. It would also stop Downtown Revitalization. Finally, it would pass the cost of replacing and improving infrastructure to future generations at a much higher cost. It would be a lose, lose, lose.

Carla Robin – No. Not at this time as I believe that the City is very reliant on the casino revenue for building the future and small property tax increases will provide for an ongoing source of usual revenue. It is prudent to continue with small increases rather than hit the taxpayers with a big increase a few years down the road, which is what would happen.  That being said, alternative sources of revenue must be explored for the financial future of the City, should this casino ‘contingency’ be reduced or eliminated. 

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