A possible tax increase of 9.4 per cent for 2009 was shown to city council and one councillor believes that number could hit close to 20 per cent as costs rise.
Coun. Bryan Anderson said the $50 million set aside for city boards and authorities in the 2009 Operating Budget Guideline was extremely low, and as that increases, as Anderson said it likely would, the taxes people pay will rise as well.
“When we talk about 9.4, we really are talking about double that,” Anderson said. “Every member of council has to start today thinking long and hard about their priorities.”
Mayor Stephen Mandel stressed that this rising tax increase was not related to overspending, something the mayor was not a huge fan of hearing.
“I’m sick and tired of people saying the city spends too much money because we don’t,” Mandel said. “If we had the money the feds did we would do a heck of a better job.”
Coun. Don Iverson said he saw the tax increase as the way to make Edmonton a “truly great city” and says he was tired of the lack of spending the city has done over the years and he was willing to pay.
“We’re not lighting their money on fire, we’re using it to do precisely the things they’re demanding,” he said.