It’s not every day that our local daily newspaper asks people to revolt – yes stand up and scream! Why?! Regional District of Nanaimo taxes are to increase 32% over the next five years.
The RDN directors will vote on the 2014 -2018 Financial Plan at the next board meeting February 25, 2014. The RDN is anticipating to collect $52.8 million a year by 2018; last year they collected $40.1 million.
What does the RDN do? RDN is responsible for administration, local governance, and local services such as transit, solid waste, recreation facilities, water and parks.
What’s the money for? Major infrastructure projects are for:
- $18 million sewage outfall pipe in Nanaimo
- $1.5 million for firehall upgrades
- $15.5 million for transit expansion
- $12 million to convert old landfill to a park
Where can the RDN save money? Cut the number of transit mangers. They don’t need a manager for every zone. Get more buses and more drivers. There is no bus from Ladysmith to Nanaimo. Also, does the City of Nanaimo need to have 7 representatives on the Board? There seems to be an over-representation from the City.
Who are the directors at the RDN? The RDN is governed by an elected Board of 17 Directors. They are the following:
Alec McPherson: Electoral Area A Cedar
Howard Houle: Electorial Area B Gabriola
Maureen Young: Electorial Area C Extention
George Holme: Electoral Area E Nanoose Bay
Julian Fell: Electorial Area F Errington
Joe Stanhope: Electoral Area G French Creek
Bill Veenhof: Electorial Area H Deep Bay
Dave Willie: Mayor of Qualicum
Marc Lefebvre: Mayor of Parksville
Jack de Jong: Mayor of Lanztville
John Ruttan – Mayor of Nanaimo
Does Nanaimo pay taxes to the RDN? 9% of the taxes collected from Nanaimo residents go to the RDN.
Taxpayers of the RDN saw an increase of taxes this year of 5.2 %. Living on Vancouver Island there are many issues causing people to revolt; expensive and unreliable ferry service, closing schools in Cedar, Parksville, and Qualicum, water worries, burning Vancouver’s garbage.
This RDN tax increase comes at a very difficult time when residents of Lanztville are facing an approximate 11% increase in taxes and Gabriola is undergoing a mass exodus, as people are leaving because of deteriorating ferry service. Many of these RDN Directors seem to think that people have endless bags of money. The reality is those with the resources will just pack up and move. Is the RDN is banking on a new wave of people arriving with deep pockets?
If you would like to give your feedback on the tax increases, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org . Also, please request that the RDN meetings be recorded on video as they are at the City of Nanaimo and other communities. Let’s hope the RDN will work towards being more transparent.