Tbnewswatch Local News
Thursday July 2 2015
6:59 PM EDT
2014-01-27 at 11:57

Tax hike proposed

By Leith Dunick, tbnewswatch.com

Homeowners are facing a 2.1 per cent increase to their 2014 tax bills, according to information released Monday by city officials.

The plan, if approved by council during budget deliberations, scheduled to begin on Tuesday, would net city coffers an extra $5.5 million over last year’s take. That’s a 3.45 per cent increase.

Coun. Mark Bentz, chairman of the committee of the whole administrative services sessions, called it a good starting point in a release issued by the city.

“The proposed budget includes an additional $2.5 million related to the enhanced infrastructure renewal program. When you exclude the extra renewal, it really represents a 1.7 per cent overall increase to maintain city operations and services.”

Existing taxpayers will be called upon to fund $3.4 million of the additional $5.5 million, with the remainder coming from a growth in the overall tax base.

“The growth in the city’s tax base in 2013, and the resulting new taxation revenue, will contribute about $2.1 million of the proposed increase in the 2014 tax levy,” city manager Tim Commisso said in the release.

“That growth is attributable to new construction completed in 2013 and doesn’t include the reassessment of existing properties by MPAC.”

At-large Coun. Iain Angus called it a fair increase. 

"It certainly makes you wonder about the research done by the Chamber of Commerce and the Lakehead University professors," Angus said.

"This is the reality. This is what we're faced with. Now council will decide if that's the right number, or whether it's a lower number or a higher number based on the discussion we will have and the input we will have from the community. But it's quite realistic, it's quite fair and I think that people need to have a level of comfort that council has been doing its job in terms of making sure that we're not wildly spending money that we don't have or on projects that people don't support." 

The 200-page report in question, released on Jan. 17, suggested operating costs in Thunder Bay are higher than the provincial average in 20 of 27 categories. Lakehead economics professor Camillo Lento said it's not out the question to expect 7.9 per cent tax-rate increases in the future if spending isn't kept in check. 

Angus said he's including a proposed $106.1-million centre in his list of projects people want, although an unscientific weekend tbnewswatch.com poll on Saturday suggested the city is split on the matter. Of 522 people who responded, 45.8 per cent said they were in favour of moving ahead with the project, with 48.3 per cent indicating they wouldn't support construction going ahead. 

The project won't be dumped on the back of municipal taxpayers, Angus said. 

"We've said all along the event centre will not go along unless other orders of government, federal and provincial, come to the table with significant amounts of dollars, and/or the private sector. We're not going to put a major burden on the taxpayers of Thunder Bay for the capital costs of this facility," Angus said, acknowledging there would be ongoing annual operational cost, which he hoped the proposal put forth by Thunder Bay Live would help to minimize. 

Taxpayers can expect to pay more for several services, including tipping fees at the John Street landfill. Water rates are also going up six per cent. Boat-docking fees are also going up. 

Ratification of the budget is expected to take place on March 3. Deliberations on both the tax- and rate-supported operations begins on Feb. 4. 

City officials say the proposed tax-supported budget includes $1.5 million in net savings to be realized in 2014. 

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harlon says:
Its too bad people on here almost immediately have to resort to name calling and insulting each other. These comment threads are available to allow everyone to express their opinions. I don't agree with everything that's said by many people. Doesn't mean I have to act like a jerk and insult people to express my views. I'm sure most of you don't know each other personally so don't be so quick to judge by the written word. This is an important topic for all citizens. I appreciate the different views and can learn from them but all the unnecessary rhetoric is nothing but distracting and childish.
4/5/2015 1:30:47 AM
Jack Frost says:
Lets all fire Hobbs and City Council come election day !!
1/29/2014 10:40:39 AM
workingman says:
I have read a lot of the comments on this story and find it a little disturbing that a lot of the comments seem to be of the opinion that if you own a more expensive home then naturally you should be willing to pay the city more money in taxes than your next door neighbour who owns a more modest home.I myself live on the very outer limits of the city,in fact the north side of the road is country. I pay the city around $5,400 in taxes and receive no services except garbage pick up.I built the home myself,had the well drilled,payed for hydro service to be installed,paid to install a septic system and I now owe the city a large sum each year for the right to live in my home.This system is wrong.You should be paying taxes to the city for services recieved.The city collects huge taxes off the properties on my road and does not even maintain the road.I personally don't care about watching hockey and don't think I should have to pay a red cent more for someone else to watch it.
1/29/2014 10:23:01 AM
Recommended 1 times.  1  Agree
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Baor says:
Tbnewswatch...please rename this as SDuncan's thread. It is taking me far too long to skip over his bombastic rants to see what others have to say.
1/28/2014 5:26:27 PM
S Duncan says:
You made 2 comments in this story. None of them had anything to do with the story and only were little weak kneed attacks directed at me.

Then you make a third comment complaining that this is all about me.

You must be one of those cane shakers I hear about. I thought maybe you were a teenager since your attention span seems weak and very unfocused but now Im not sure. Nevertheless, your wide reaching, nonsensical accusations and inability to focus on the topic do little to put forth any rational or debatable discussion.

Please continue to try harder with your sentences and rationale. Id like to hear what everybody has to say because you'll never learn anything if you skip over life choosing only to pay attention to your own thoughts.

Your pal,
Scott Duncan.
1/29/2014 9:39:28 AM
sumo1 says:
With an increase in the city tax rate, house insurance going up up up, hydro, natural gas and water. I expect at least a 1000 dollar increase for average home owner. This will be the new baseline and further increases every year going forward. It's a good thing minimum wages are going up.
1/28/2014 1:55:06 PM
Brutus02 says:
Raise it to 3% and hire a CGA to determine where to cut some of the mismanagement that is abundant in this City.

Start by trimming this council down to less than half of what it currently is. These positions should require full time attendance during the workweek.

How is it that any given day after a snowfall you can find a parking lot of city vehicles (grader, sanders, pickups ) at A&W, Tim hortons, etc) in the morning and afternoon. Funny how you will never see a bunch of privately owned companies doing this, hmmmm.
I could understand sending someone to pick up some coffee but this takes it to a whole new level. Are city breaks an hour in the morning before an hour lunch and another hour in the afternoon? Funny with all this time to sit around and the sidewalk in front of my house can go 5 days without being cleared after a snowfall.

1/28/2014 12:52:50 PM
Tachyion says:
The lazy ethic is endemic within the city system......most of management, supervisors, lead ( heavy like the metal ) hands, and other branches all moved through the system over the years. Do you really think a lazy manager who was a lazy worker, is going to want maximum work out of his subordinates. This is what unionism breeds.....less work for more pay and benefits. Cities are worker welfare systems of a sort.
1/28/2014 3:06:02 PM
Citizen Peace says:
"Homeowners are facing a 2.1 per cent increase to the 2014 net tax levy"

This comment is misleading. Spin-doctors. The 2.1% is for the average tax payer, including industrial and commercial, not just residents. So, if Resolute's re-assessment case is successful there will be a huge decrease in industrial taxes that will be offset by an increase from residents and commercial.

On average, 2.1%, but, this doesnt mean that residents will see 4 - 6% increase and industrial will see significant decreases.

Plus, budgets are rarely accurate.

All you need to do is wait until you get your next tax bill and see if it goes up 2.1% I bet the average increase will be more than this.

I wonder if Mr. Angus will comment later on.
1/28/2014 12:28:45 PM
The Beaver..... says:
At-large Coun. Iain Angus called it a fair increase.

"It certainly makes you wonder about the research done by the Chamber of Commerce and the Lakehead University professors," Angus said.
Ian if I was you I would not tough that line even with a 12 foot pole. You are starting a battle you can not win
1/28/2014 11:13:00 AM
BlueJay12 says:
S Duncan, what do you do all day besides comment on tbnewswatch? I vote S Duncan for Mayor...are you running against Mr.Hobbs? Slow Clap...
1/28/2014 8:22:58 AM
Just Sayin' says:
Doesn't this idiot realize I also belong to the province and Canada...I'm a taxpayer there too. They talk about Provincial and Federal money as if we don't pay it and its someone else's money.
1/28/2014 7:56:07 AM
blah blah says:
didnt realize it was free to maintain these donated parks
1/28/2014 12:48:20 AM
educator says:
Considering most of these comments were posted while I and tens of thousands of others were at work, I have to ask, do any of you people have jobs?
1/28/2014 12:26:43 AM
Tachyion says:
Interesting pro and cons.....will anything change..... a large resounding NO. Governments of all levels are addicted to taxpayer money, and it will be squeezed out in any possible method. Governments don't have money.....it is the people's money, in most cases taken before it even gets into the citizens hands. We have allowed government to become too BIG, unwieldy, unaccountable, and unfortunately the servant of big unions. Nothing is going to change until ( possibly ) the voter participation increases to at least 80%. As it stands it is not OUR government....it is THE GOVERNMENT.
1/27/2014 10:57:31 PM
caesarjbasquitti says:
Someday, someone will have the courage to correct the property tax system.

In regards to direct costs like hydro and water, these costs are metered, with some fixed costs assigned for delivery at standard amounts regardless if you use any of the service or not.

Having said that, the property tax system, is in fact a tax on the value of your property. Property taxes that pay for general city expenditures that are not directly associated to one property owner or another.

Logically the more appropriate method to assessing city wide taxes is based on the lot size, ie per single family occupancy. This will remove the penalty for improving the condition of your home.

The current complex system of property value makes sense if you are buying home insurance but not for assessing city costs to a city lot.

The entire system should be reevaluated.
1/27/2014 10:50:52 PM
bay of blunders says:
I keep seeing so many people bring the Event Center into the picture because it will lose money in terms of the facitlity being in the red each year after all numbers are added up. This is a misconception of sorts. If you own a mall per say and that mall has many components that sell goods or services and you bring in one service that in itself loses money but because of it, the people coming into the mall to use it spend alot of money on all other services, in the end the mall but not that one individual service ends up making profits. This is the same with an event center owned by the city which the city will make profits by increased revenues made by dozens or hundreds of other businesses like hotels, taxis, restaurants, bars, shopping etc. The event center has to be viewed as an attraction to make profit elsewhere. Get your heads out of the sand NIMBYs.
1/27/2014 7:44:51 PM
sky high says:
You can tell a NIMBY this until your knickers explode but they either can't understand the concept or they don't want their friends to know the truth. The loss of one measly million will be a catalyst for billions in spinoff revenue when you add it all up over 50 years. Lose one million, gain billions.
1/27/2014 9:21:46 PM
Eastender says:
Skyhigh, I cant seem to find that theory in my 101 economics class where it tells me i will make billions, if I lose a measly million. If I make billions, how is it that I lose a million.
So if your theory is correct, I shouldn't be paying any taxes in future years, since the investments in th
1/28/2014 8:26:55 AM
sky high says:
After reading your posts these last few months Eastender I can say without any doubt that you skipped every class of your EC101 course. The Events Centre, which is coming whether you and your gang of a dozen cane-shakers in here like it or not, might lose one million annually but it will generate revenue (directly and indirectly) to the tune of billions over the next 50 years. Build the events centre and everything around it and the whole city will prosper...survive. When do you want to build this Events Centre? In 20 years when the cost will double? Give your head a vicious shake and THINK
1/28/2014 11:59:23 AM
S Duncan says:
So your plan is to get the money from the citizens so that we can turn a profit somewhere else and then what?

You see, when people make cash investments in things, they expect a return. They want their cash back and then some.

At 1 million/year loss, not only we will not be getting our money back, it will be continuously throwing more down the hole every year to come. And with the inflation the city likes to use excuses for to raise our taxes, we have to realize that inflation will also occur on the yearly expenses.

How about if you want to make a profit somewhere else, you go get the money somewhere else too?

Said it a bunch of times already, if it was a good investment you wouldn't have to beg for handouts. Because its a huge financial burden, now and every year in the future, you wont find investors at all.

You'll find saps who think its an investment that they will never get a return on.

As an investor, will I get free admission and box seats?? Why not?
1/27/2014 9:35:11 PM
ring of fire dude says:
OK I will think of it as a mall , a mall with only 1 source of revenue (in the winter) many employees and absolutely no parking . I would think that this mall would go belly up quite quickly . Now you say "... which the city will make profits by increased revenues made by dozens or hundreds of other businesses". Now can you explain how the City can increase revenues when the business's only pay property taxes . Is the City going to shake these business's down like the mafia or are they going to double dip with a new tax on their profits ?
1/28/2014 12:04:30 AM
Eastender says:
With your logic a person could concievably frequent a casino for a year, drop 10,000 dollars in that time, then hit a win of 5,000 dollars and in conclusion say that they are a winner.
Umm... What happened to the other 5,000 dollars?
1/28/2014 8:34:39 AM
Eastender says:
Your logic is sheer nonsense.
You would have me believe that if I invest a million in a business, and other people make a ton of money in that business, that somehow this is a benefit to me? Where is my return on this investment? Im neither a taxi cab owner, nor a bar or restaraunt operator.
My money is allowing everyone else to make money except me. In that case, those that are making the money should be the ones doing the investing. Why include me in their mad rush.
1/28/2014 8:48:15 AM
fastball says:
So, any return on this "investment" is rendered moot because you personally don't profit from it?
The neighbourhood restaurants, bars, hotels, vendors and stores that may see increased business - you're saying that the employees of those places won't see any benefit? Will they not be busier - more employees getting more shifts, getting tips and wage raises - thereby being able to be more engaged in the local economy? More business = more employment = more money in the economy = more people being able to afford homes = more taxpayers = better for all of us?
In a perfect world, I suppose you could dictate exactly where you tax dollar gets spent...but until then, if you don't like it, you have the option to move to a place where you are taxed less. (or more to the point, taxed for things that YOU think are appropriate)
1/28/2014 11:28:30 AM
S Duncan says:
If we dont profit from a cash investment then its not really an investment is it?

If I just take your money and tell you Im going to use it to paint my house does that make it an investment in Thunder Bay? or is it just theft?
1/28/2014 4:44:05 PM
thunderbaycouncel says:
this basically is helping pay the lawsuit which the city will be losing against the east end flood victims. There will be more tax increases coming. just wait. city is hurting.
1/27/2014 7:07:31 PM
Kam River says:
ring of fire dude says:
So the City will be gouging me 2.38% on my tax bill to spend on luxuries like the Event Center , Art and the Indian Friendship Center ?
You forgot to add the new Terry Fox Museum, the Conservatory and Chippewa Park which should be sold
It is not 2.5% Your assessment went up 10% or more so it is really 12.5%
Plus add your unbelievable water bill. I am told people in Arizona water bill is less than half of what we pay.
We need member of council who understand the value of a dollar. Hobbs and company need to go.
The cost of the FtWmGardens as they do not want and hockey rink there.
1/27/2014 6:59:10 PM
Rusty Nails says:
I wish we could sell Hobbs and Council for scrap to help pay for these increased TAXES !!

LOL !!
1/27/2014 6:39:59 PM
blah blah says:
IT would be great if everyone in the city liked the same things. But thats not the case. If I dont use the parks in the city, take it off my tax bill , bus service also, dont use the pools either. big list of things i dont use but pay taxes for. Diverse group of people, im for EVENT CENTER , Im sure i pay for things others like but i dont use.
1/27/2014 6:05:12 PM
S Duncan says:
Most of the parks we have were donated by successful business and land owners that gave some thing of their own to the citizens of this city. Patterson, Chappel, Vickers, etc..

today we have politicians, unelected bureaucrats, and employees who want to get their name on the marquee with our tax dollars instead of their own investment. I can provide a great example of that but I doubt it will get posted.

If you want something, YOU pay for it. If you don't like the parks, then lobby to get rid of them, or you could move because Im sure most of them were here long before you were. The welfare arena is something new and additional to our financial burden.

If you want to take on additional financial burden, then go ahead, but don't force the rest of us to pay for it with you. If you want to change the way our finances are handled and get rid of some expenses to trade off for new ones, that would be rational.

but that's not happening. Its just more, more, more!!!

I say no.
1/27/2014 7:11:26 PM
Ozone says:
Tell the sheep 7 percent then announce 2.1!! Same old scam....

Vote this lot out next election. The tax rate increase is far more than 2.1 percent. Need to add the MPAC "boost" to the math.

We are the highest tax and lowest services provided city in Ontario.
1/27/2014 6:02:27 PM
Me n My Opinion says:
I find it funny how our Council and Administration get raked over the coals in this forum about a 2.1% increase, but so many of those same people complaining were, in the past, talking about the good job Rob Ford was doing in Toronto. Funny thing is, that even with all of the growth Toronto experiences year after year, the average home owners taxes went up by that same 2.1% last year. Go figure.
1/27/2014 5:50:16 PM
musicferret says:
Do you have any idea how cheap taxes are in Toronto? Have a friend in a house about the same size as mine. Less than half the taxes.
1/27/2014 7:10:00 PM
RBosch says:
@grazzroots - yes Saskatoon did have a shortfall of approximately $1M, but you forgot to mention they actually had a PROFIT of over $2M. Unfortunately, it would appear that in order for Saskatoon to get the event, they guarnteed a profit that was too large to achieve, even though the event was a success! Yes, there was a shortfall in projections, but we can't ignore the fact that money was made and it was a pretty substantial amount as well.

One other point that seems to come up is the mythical $1M shortfall that is being tossed about by some. In actually reading the latest story it has been predicted that the shortfall will be more like $300K/year. I think this compares pretty favourably with the current $600K/ year at the FWG.

I certainly appreciate your stance and it is nice to note that there are those out there, fixed income, Seniors, or not who do support this, myself included. I too enjoy today's hockey, being a season ticket holder of the T'Wolves since day one.
1/27/2014 5:43:42 PM
olive garden says:
iam happy to pay taxes it could be worse i could be living in a tent
in afaganastan and afraid i might get hit by one of those torpedeos.
1/27/2014 5:26:48 PM
Tbaylifer 1 says:
S Duncan: Your comment about the socialist wanting this so they could watch hockey is incorrect. It is the capitalists that want the rest of us to pay for it so they can make a buck while we loss two.
1/27/2014 5:11:18 PM
The Beaver..... says:
All the assessments do is realign who pays what. The city still develops it's budget in the same manner. I guess MPAC must have sent instructions to Resolute as well.
1/27/2014 5:00:38 PM
grazzroots says:
just wonder if i should take down the names of the whinners that post on here everyday to complain about council and then check the ballot on election day to see if all of them are running so our city can be saved
1/27/2014 4:42:26 PM
S Duncan says:
What makes you think we want the job?

These people are supposed to represent us, not themselves. I shouldn't have to do the job personally when I pay someone to do it for me.

I have a job that I like now and I like my family time. I pay good money to my councillor who should be listening to us, not his own socialist ideals.

If you paid someone to mow your lawn and you aren't happy with the job they do, does that mean you have to do it yourself? Or should the person you hire do the job the way you want it, or get replaced by someone who will?
1/27/2014 6:28:20 PM
Swirly-Q says:
"If you paid someone to mow your lawn and you aren't happy with the job they do, does that mean you have to do it yourself? Or should the person you hire do the job the way you want it, or get replaced by someone who will?"

Bad analogy. More fitting... you own a condo. You and all other condo owners hire someone to mow the lawn. You think you could mow it better and spend countless hours complaining to all the other condo owners about the best way to mow the lawn. Some agree but many others are happy with the lawn. You could a)apply for the job yourself since you know best, b)try to persuade others to join you in hiring someone new, c)be as abrasive and obnoxious as possible to everyone around you, even the people who sometimes agree with you... just because.

Which of these do you think might be less productive?
1/27/2014 10:48:00 PM
S Duncan says:
I'll go along with you on that analogy.

Id say if we're at the point where some of the condo owners don't like the landscaping job, some are Ok with it, and some don't care.. then the only way to is to hold a vote.

but heres where your analogy fails.. we're not talking about cutting the lawn that was ours when we bought the condo. We're talking about the condo manager who wants our condo fees to pay for the landscaping on his buddy's lot next door.

We get stuck paying the fees. The condo manager and his buddy are happy because they get what they want. Us condo owners can go over there for walks, but we have to pay to get in the gate.. even though you're paying for the lawn to be cut.

Now, is that what you signed up to pay for when you bought your condo? Your condo fees were for services in your building, not the manager's friend.

Is it obnoxious to object to that vehemently?

Anyway, I kinda punched myself tired on this, Im going to try and take it easy today.
1/28/2014 10:07:18 AM
grs says:
"but heres where your analogy fails.. we're not talking about cutting the lawn that was ours when we bought the condo. We're talking about the condo manager who wants our condo fees to pay for the landscaping on his buddy's lot next door."

Umm...pretty sure the analogy was condo=city, condo owners=taxpayers, and lawn mowers=city council.

Are you seriously trying to imply that our city manager (condo manager) is trying to get our taxpayer money (condo fees) to pay for another city's services (buddy's lot next door)?

I can see you're trying to bring the event centre into this but that wasn't the purpose of the analogy.
1/28/2014 11:25:19 AM
grazzroots says:
1/27/2014 4:34:44 PM
S Duncan says:
Do you realize that the good people of Saskatchewan live in a prosperous province?

They are not saddled by provincial debt caused by a decade of liberal spending. In fact, they are so prosperous they are forced to send money to Ontario and Quebec where liberal policy has taken them into the financial abyss.

If Ontario were once again prosperous. If Thunder Bay wasn't city with its hands perpetually held out waiting for other people to fill them up, then I might agree with you.

The sad reality is this city and province have made every effort to take money from business and citizen alike to pay for their socialist dreams.

If you can find a way to keep our taxes down within reason (instead of the highest in Ontario) You would get more support.

A new welfare hockey rink is what TBTel dividends would be best used to pay for. The wants instead of needs should be paid for by them. Instead council became addicted to that money and squandered that every single chance they had.
1/27/2014 6:23:53 PM
Wolfie says:
Umm... remember when Ontario was subsidizing Saskatchewan for all of those years? You know, before they got lucky with a spike in potash prices? This only goes back to 2005, but Saskatchewan was a have-not province for years and years before that as well.


What goes around comes around. That's why the equalization system works as it does. Help your neighbour, and he'll help you.
1/27/2014 10:48:14 PM
conker2012 says:
Just so it is clear to the ANTI-Event center ""geniuses"".

1.The city's contribution is already in place and will not affect your taxes.

2.The proposed location has already spurred a zoning change request so that a new condo building can be erected down the street from the proposed location. If we assume this new condo building will have 60 units valued at an average of $350k then the operating cost over run projected at the event center of $1M is covered by this new condo alone.

3.We have to assume that this multiplex will also add value to the hotels in the area. So if we say $2M to both the prince arthur and delta. That would generate an additional $100k a year.

4.The tax sale of the Lyceum later this year will generate more cash since this land will be far more valuable than when would had the event center not been selected for this area.

5.There is a cost savings to having the bus depot incorporated into the event center that would reduce your taxes.

Multiplex is win win!
1/27/2014 3:44:29 PM
S Duncan says:
1) the hockey rink is going to LOSE $1 million/year, and thats the city's projection which you can be sure is a conservative estimate. Those losses will be directly on the backs of the taxpayer despite any shell game Commisso wants to play.

2) Housing units dont collect taxes as a source of income rather they are for services rendered. You are advocating for forced turnover of income to subsidize hockey. Is that even legal?

3) see #2. youre trying to steal money from your fellow citizen because you cannot entertain yourself.

4) Perhaps, but yet again the city should sell the property to the highest bidder. It should not have ideas of making large sums of money for any purposes outside of lowering taxes for services they are paid to povide.

5)The bus depot and city transit is a financial liability. It consumes tax dollars instead of being revenue neutral. The sale of the property? See #4.

stop pretending youre a business tycoon with other peoples hard earned money. FAIL!
1/27/2014 4:35:43 PM
conker2012 says:
1)The entire report on the event center costs is conservative, unfortunately you didn't comprehend that part. A conservative risk (loss) estimate means the projected loss is actually less than the estimate. Business 101

2)Collecting taxes is a source of income, the city is a corporation and should be managed like a business. Increase income sources, reduce expenses, managing assets and invest in ventures that will provide value.

3)Nobody is stealing anything, taxation is about providing the greatest benefit for the community within the means of the community.

4)Unfortunately the private sector does not work in the best interest of the community. Prime example : Simpson Street.

5)Having two city services combined into one facility maintains the same liability, but reduces operating and maintenance costs.

Stop shaking your cane and look at the actual facts and historical data.

BTW nice aluminum foil hat.

Cane shaking FAIL!!
1/27/2014 5:20:06 PM
Eastender says:
Conker, you appear to be one of those people who can tell someone else how to build a house, but you couldn't actually build one yourself.
In theory everything you say seems to be logical.
In actual reality it doesn't work.
1/28/2014 9:00:38 AM
sky high says:
The Events Centre may lose 1 million a year but it will bring in mega millions annually and create millions in spinoff revenue for our city. This is what you complainers don't want everyone to know
1/27/2014 5:28:02 PM
Eastender says:
I dont recall contributing to an event centre. So where did the money thats "in place" come from?
1/29/2014 11:47:57 PM
outside-looking-in says:
Alright. I used to live in Thunder Bay, but moved away for work purposes (to other N.W. Ontario towns) and will always call TBay home and I do wish to come back and live and work someday soon. I get tired listening to everyone complain about taxes going up, although I do agree with most statements reasoning. I watched as MPAC came in and assessed all of your homes and EVERYONE'S home value increased. You all got excited because now your $130,000 home just jumped to $200,000. You people made $70,000 for doing NOTHING!! You had to have seen the writing on the wall that your taxes were going to increase as the value of your home did, but no one seemed to mind because of the large winfall you just got for nothing! If you don't like it, sell your overinflated home, take the money MPAC gave you for increasing the value of your home and live somewhere else! And don't get me started on how everyone in TBay is a landlord now and takes FULL ADVANTAGE of the system and renters!Sickening!!
1/27/2014 3:35:54 PM
JubJub says:
I'm not completely against the events centre, just don't think that now is the right time for it. Shelf the plan and revisit in 4-5 years, finish the Marina, work on supporting city infrastructure, find efficiencies in city staff/services and keep taxes in check. With a municipal election soon, those are the platforms I am looking out for. And please stop hiring expensive consultants to find answers we already know.

Besides, isn't the ring of fire supposed to cause a boom in this City (not sure if that is sarcasm or not at this point).
1/27/2014 3:11:25 PM
ring of fire dude says:
That boom your talking about was a sonic boom . That sonic boom came from Cliffs and other Junior miners fleeing Ontario for a safer mining camp .
1/27/2014 4:24:16 PM
conker2012 says:
If we want to avoid a tax increase then stop the golflinks project! This is a disaster and completely unnecessary project. The expressway is 300 ft away and there is not enough traffic to justify this expansion. Plus when they add new homes west of the road they will have to dig it up to add the new services.

Stop waste of money ideas trying to revive the south core. It is dead as a retail center (i.e. fresh air experience is now moving out of the area) and start to concentrate what can be saved around victoriaville. With two meth clinics multiple low income housing and the shelter house it will not come back to it's glory days.

Finally crack down on illegal or undeclared multiple residences. These units are subject to a higher tax rate and should need to be held accountable for the back taxes they owe.
1/27/2014 2:59:45 PM
conker2012 says:
Oh and I forgot, STOP GIVING OLIVER PAPOONGE POLICE SERVICE AT COST!!!!! Since we are providing a service that they cannot we should include some profit on the cost. Not to gauge them but a reasonable amount.... 10-20% perhaps? The people out in oli-poo use our roads and our infrastructure yet they contribute nothing to it. Time for them to pay for what they use by taxing the police service we provide to them.
1/27/2014 3:22:14 PM
fluffy says:
Yet another tax increase. Sounds about right. 60% of the city's residents will need new suspension on their vehicles soon because of the horrible streets this city has but it doesn't matter to the city council clowns and the "elite" of Thunder Bay pushing for this events centre behind closed doors. They all drive nice vehicles with great suspension. My taxes will have increased by no less than $1700 in three years because of MPAC's re-assesments and the Council Clowns clawing at my wallet. Nice.
1/27/2014 2:42:09 PM
S Duncan says:
Just wondering why this story is being called a "Budget Hike" when the first sentence decrys it as a "Tax Hike"???
1/27/2014 2:29:39 PM
Leith Dunick says:
Good point. I've changed the headline. Thanks.
1/27/2014 2:35:19 PM
S Duncan says:
I can find time to write a weekly column for you for a few bucks.

Guaranteed to garner attention and boost readership.
1/27/2014 5:53:28 PM
tiredofit says:
People are complaining about someone paying $8000 a year in taxes therefore he/she must be ultra rich to own such an expensive house.

I built my house in 1999, cost me $215k, taxes were a mere $2485.00 a year, I could live with that. Fast forward 2014, multiple assessments later and yes, I did build a garage about 5 years ago, however my taxes are now well over $5400 as of this year. That's double what they were when I built a mere 14 years ago. At this rate when I retire in 15 years my taxes will be in the range of $11-14k give or take, probably even more. Sure my house is worth more now, but what justifies the doubling of taxes? The road is worse than it was in 1999, I have no sewers, sidewalks etc...

It's only 2.1% they say, a small amount... well, factor in all the "small" increases and it all adds up to the point where it's becoming harder and harder to maintain your home, regardless of it's value.

1/27/2014 2:23:22 PM
DougMyers says:

$8000 a year is significantly higher then the average in this city.

If you and your friends are paying that and higher, you are living a much richer lifestyle then I. That or you are living beyond your means. Which is it?

FYI no lots near the hospital are small. They are bigger then most other lots in the city.
1/27/2014 2:05:08 PM
musicferret says:
Would you say the same of the senior who's house increased in value, had their taxes double, and now lose their house?

Who says i'm rich? There are everyone from millionaires to the lower middle class homeowners who are being screwed by the one-two punch of MPAC and giant city tax increases. Their only crime? Buying in a good area. There are houses of the same size as mine in this city that pay 1/3rd the tax.

Don't assume its just rich people complaining. Everyone is getting screwed.
1/27/2014 2:11:59 PM
DougMyers says:
I never said you or your friends were rich. Please learn to read and understand.

I said you are living a much richer lifestyle then I. So you are either finacially wealthy or living beyond your means.

To answer your question, yes, a senior on retirement in your position should sell their home. If you can no longer afford the taxes then you can no longer afford the maintanence and other costs (heat, electric, etc) associated with a large home.

Why would a retired person need such a large home anyway?

You pay taxes on the value of your home and choose to purchase a home where you did. Your arguement is so flawed you cannot even make a reasonable debate.

A $500 000 home is not mid sized, no matter how often you claim that. If you assesment is at $500 000 then the actual value is higher still.

Pretty rich lifestyle the majority would say
1/28/2014 2:18:32 PM
Eastender says:
I sense a bit of envy here.
So someone buys a nice house when they are working and making good money. They then retire and take a cut in their income because at that time it is sufficient to maintain their lifestyle.
Ten years later, taxes have doubled, (due to irresponsible spending), inflation has reduced buying power, these people should sell their home and, what, move into the poor house, because you want a hockey rink? This how you justify your insatiable appetite for entertainment.
This inane cart before the horse logic will not be tolerated by sane, hard working folks who are constantly bein disrespected by our city administrator and council.
1/29/2014 10:26:26 AM
enos012 says:
Society is stuck in a mindless cycle on a system that doesn't work. The city just gave wage increases to it's emlpoyess in PSW and the Bus Drivers. To cover the cost of that and other escalating costs, what do they do but raise taxes! So whatver deal these workers recieved just went down the tubes in way of taxes while others stuggle and will continue to stuggle even a little bit more now.
1/27/2014 2:03:45 PM
oscarmyerweiner says:
Correct me if I'm wrong but didn't they do this with the auditorium back in the 80's. They tried donations first or buy a brick and when that didn't work they just increased the taxes giving the tax payer no say in the matter. I'm for the event center but only when we can afford and only without jamming it down the tax payers throats.
1/27/2014 1:38:09 PM
bttnk says:
@ Oscarweiner - This tax rate increase has nothing to do with a proposed event centre. Our city operations are not running efficiently and for the most part we continue to ignore the problem rather then deal with it.

The problem is, dealing with it means cutting good paying jobs and dealing with the union reaction. To date, no one is willing to meet that challenge head on.
1/27/2014 2:00:56 PM
conker2012 says:
The auditorium was a huge mistake. They cut corners to keep the cost low so that complainers would be happy and since then they have had to put millions into upgrade and replacements of major equipment. The lobby is too small and people are jammed into every corned while trying to socialize before the show or at intermission and it was located in an area that gave no taxable benefit to the city. The auditorium is also horribly miss managed. In this day and age there is no need for a person to be paid full time wage plus benefits to work the box office. To bad it is actually more than one person and they have some of the worse ticket service in existence.

Please somebody answer me why we cannot close the box office all week except an hour before an event for will call ticket pickup. Move all hockey and TBCA tickets to online only with either free print at home, $5 mail to you service or 100% paperless tickets.
1/27/2014 4:04:07 PM
nvjgu says:
I got .05% increase in my fixed pension and this tax hike is 2.5 not factering in the cost of living. I'm in trouble.
1/27/2014 1:22:15 PM
hadenough says:
So you're sitting at home living off a WSIB pension and you expect the rest of us to suffer along with you? Try living within your means. Get rid of that new car that you say you ruined on a pot hole last year and the motorcycle you wrecked on a pot hole last year and the bicycle your wrecked.

1/27/2014 5:50:42 PM
S Duncan says:
you want him to get rid of what he has in order to support your dreams of welfare hockey rinks?

what kind of greedy person are you?
1/27/2014 7:18:27 PM
Mazda323 says:
No, Scott, I think he wants nvjgu to learn to drive so that he HAS something to drive. From the sounds of nvjgu, all he's gonna have left soon are a pair of rollerblades. Hope he's got ankle braces if he drives those the way he drives his vehicles *ahem, pardon me, DROVE his vehicles.
1/27/2014 10:09:56 PM
dockboy says:
I wish I could get a 2.1% increase in my wages every year. Unfortunately, that isn't happening to me or most people I know. These increases leave us further and further behind. I'm not sure if today's poll regarding the expectation of tax increase was such a good idea. It gives them a clear indiciation of what average taxpayer is expecting.
1/27/2014 1:15:19 PM
S Duncan says:
yes todays poll was certainly leading.

I answered it, then paused and changed my answer. I paused again, realized it was a question that damned us with either answer.

I decided not to answer it.

Also noticed on Friday the new welfare hockey rink lost out on the poll as well. Thats on this site alone. Can you imagine how bad it would lose by if it reached all those people at home without computers or are actually working a real job in order to pay for the welfare utopia Hobbs is working 100 hrs a week to create?

Thats why Commisso is scared of a plebescite on this issue. The defeat is certain.

by the way for people who think i hit my own agrees. Fridays poll had 500+ people vote. over %50 voted against the new welfare rink. So if 200+ people voted that way, it shouldnt be surprised that my clear, concise and logical comments get so many "agrees".
1/27/2014 2:27:00 PM
Leith Dunick says:
FYI, the poll ran on the weekend, on Saturday. And 48.3 per cent opposed the event centre construction, 45.8 supported it and 5.9 per cent are undecided.

It suggests there is plenty of opposition and plenty of support. Statistically speaking, neither side can claim victory.
1/27/2014 2:32:56 PM
p.o.ed taxpayer says:
Just to be a bit cynical Leith but the vote was not that close until you started to whip the vote with your tweet...
1/27/2014 3:58:11 PM
Baor says:
I voted three times on three different devices....your poll means nothing. Much the same as people who like their own comments over and over.
1/27/2014 4:27:05 PM
S Duncan says:
Why would you vote 3 times? Are you deliberately trying to skew the results in your favour? When looking at your past posts its obvious youre in favour of a welfare hockey rink, I guess we can discount your 2 votes then and that makes the results even more against you.

Why would you agree with yourself so many times? Are you that desperate to feel acceptance? Id guess thats why you need welfare entertainment too?

Its ok though. I'll forgive you. I hear its difficult to be a teenager and to want acceptance so bad that you vote multiple times on polls to subsidize your entertainment.

You should try rational thought and practising your writing skills, you just might find yourself with as many "agrees" as I get.

First you'll have to give up your welfare entertainment ideals, they arent going to get you anywhere.

your pal,
Scott Duncan
1/27/2014 5:07:03 PM
AndersonSilvasLeg says:
Seems to just blatantly point out that these polls can be altered and should not be used as a solid point of proof.

If you want a legit poll, restrict the votes to a single vote per IP address.

Make it a bit harder for people to manipulate the votes and deter people (if they are lazy enough they won't want to proxy up just to vote for some silly little poll).
1/28/2014 12:07:19 PM
Baor says:
I voted more than once to prove a point about these polls. I know for a fact that I'm not the only one.
I find it ironic that you would be so offended as one who stated on this site during the last election that you voted more than once ( something illegal I might add). You are becoming quite the entertainer here. I only hope that WHEN the events centre gets built, you do not set foot in it.
1/28/2014 10:57:55 AM
Chaos says:
don't forget the city plans to debenture another 8 million for golf links....let the shell games begin.
1/27/2014 1:07:15 PM
BlueJay12 says:
Oh yes and water rates up 6%! :)....how much have water rates gone up in the past 5 years, 300%?
1/27/2014 12:56:03 PM
Ricknb says:
Don't forget when the water rates go up, so does your sewer rate!

They aren't telling you that!
1/27/2014 3:56:42 PM
YellowSnow13 says:
I hope the councilors read this stuff. I DON'T WANT MY TAXES TO GO UP! Figure out a way to stop this increase.
1/27/2014 12:55:57 PM
Jon Powers says:
Dan Dan :

Just another example of the "Pro-Well-Fare-Business Elite Program".

Let's Ram The Event Centre, Art Gallery, and other "Business Well-Fare" projects on the "Tax-Payers".

After all, what do they (Tax-Payers) know about anything anyhow right?

Just rememmber; We all get the governments we deserve.

Great Story! + Posts so far!
1/27/2014 12:48:33 PM
musicferret says:
Here we go again! The scary part is how many people are now paying $8000 a month+++ I know many over $10000 and a couple over $12000. Its INSANE, its UNSUSTAINABLE, and yet we want an events centre. JUST KEEP INCREASING THOSE TAXES! The taxpayer will cover it, right city council? Until they won't, and the whole house of cards comes falling down.

On another note, as sober thought for everyone: What happens when TBAYTEL stops giving their annual 'dividend' to the city? And believe me, they will as competition heats up.

Bell is currently offering $50 unlimited. Tbaytel offers $80 unlimited for virtually an identical plan and are refusing to budge even an inch.
How long till every last customer jumps ship? Either they match and lose their massive profit margin, or they lose all their customers. Either way, they will NOT have the money to keep paying the city every year, and in fact could start LOSING money in the future.

Scary times....

1/27/2014 12:44:08 PM
SomeGuy says:
You mean a year right not a month?
1/27/2014 1:14:40 PM
bttnk says:
@musicferret - The Tbaytel dividend is relatively sustainable. While Bell is offering a $50 plan, Thunder Bay is the only municipality in Ontario where that plan is offered and it won't be here much longer as Bell does not generate any revenue under that plan and once they are no longer deemed a new entrant into the market, they are not allowed to offer pricing specific to a city.

Tbaytel will continue to do well as they have easily the best coverage in the region.
1/27/2014 1:20:49 PM
smartguy83 says:
TBayTel offered basically the same plan about 6 months ago while Bell was more expensive.

As for $8,000/month I doubt it. But if you are paying $8,000-12,000/year consider not having an excessively large house.

The cities "projected" increase may actually be more as citizens of TBay seem to all be building their dream homes. How about settling for something a bit smaller to prevent a disaster in the long run. Too many people leveraging their financial capacity in this city. It's sad but will benefit me in the long run.
1/27/2014 1:24:31 PM
musicferret says:
People are paying $8000 for a mid sized home on a postage stamp sized lot near the hospital.

These aren't millionaires. They have been screwed by MPAC and the city tax increases.
1/27/2014 1:38:51 PM
Me n My Opinion says:
Anyone can challenge their assessment. In fact, the detailed instructions as to how to do it are included as part of the package MPAC sends to everyone when they are informed of the new assessment amount.
1/27/2014 3:00:21 PM
musicferret says:
Of course!

And they come to the house you paid $300000 for and say "Well, nothings changed in this house, and similar houses go for $500000, so your assessment stands"

You can't challenge the assessment based on logic.... its only based on their formula. You could trash your house completely..... I hear that works to lower your assessment.
1/27/2014 3:05:14 PM
smartguy83 says:
Blame MPAC not the City of TBay. They set rates based on MPAC assessments. People can keep blaming the city all they like but the City does the best with the information they have.

People here are totally ridiculous. Sick and tired of complainers. I am a young professional. I really wish all the old residents would step up and do something about it if they want to sit and complain. The city has to tailor to us not just you. We want entertainment. We want a nice/clean city. We shouldn't be deprived of this.

Lot's of jobs out there. Go out and get a trade if you need a higher paying job and don't want to go back to school. Trades are high demand in the city and offer competitive salaries.

1/27/2014 3:48:59 PM
S Duncan says:
The taxpaying citizens of this city are sick and tired of people like you who think its the mnicipality's duty to cater to your entertainment wishes.

If youre such a valuable member of this community why dont you buy the property and build your new hockey rink. All your imaginary people will pack it in from miles around. You will only lose $1million/year but it wont be my money, it will be yours.

Oh? you dont want to lose $1mil/yr? Hmm well you better find a way to not lose so much.

Perhaps since youre so generous with your professional money you can see your way clear to pay my taxes that keep going up?

Funny how youre so generous with other people's money but not your own. Those old residents know what it takes to earn a buck. They dont need you to spend it for them.

If you dont like T Bay and its citizens because they wont buy you a hockey rink, perhaps you'd be happier somewhere else? Theres plenty of good people that can take your job and entertain themselves.
1/27/2014 4:54:57 PM
fastball says:
Are you telling me that Thunder Bay is the ONLY city in the world that built a municipal facility built in part with local tax dollars? That us alone are on some suicidal, roller-coaster ride straight to financial ruination that NOT A SINGLE OTHER municipality has endured?
Funny, I don't see the Canadian countryside littered with empty ghost towns, with tumbleweeds rolling down vacant streets because they built an events centre.
You've only mentioned the phrase "welfare hockey arena" about a dozen times in various posts on this story. You really ought to get another line, though....it's getting really stale.

1/27/2014 8:25:48 PM
JustSayingThankYou says:
Actually that isn't totally accurate... years ago companies built arenas in town and when they had to close or move it was left to the towns to pay which was very hard on the tax base. I'm also a young professional and it would be great to have an event centre but what happens when the population drops after the babyboomers? Our generation isn't going to be able to cover the costs of this City. If you add something you should take something away so at the very least the City needs to make cuts somewhere to make up for this new cost. We can't have it all... yes would it be great if we could, sure... but we can't. My taxes are already $3000 and quite frankly we have no business running an event centre... providing funding yearly sure.. but not running it. That's why companies run them in other cities because municipalities need to know what's important and what isn't... We can only move forward but what will that forward look like for us? Frankly it's worrisome in my opinion as is....
1/28/2014 9:47:45 AM
smartguy83 says:
That actually can't be true. Taxes are based on the value of your house. A typical 30 yr old bungalow will be valued at $190,000-$250,000. Based on historical tax rates my guess would be $3,000+ in property taxes. Since the rate is standard across ALL residential houses a house would have to be assessed at over $500,000 to have taxes over $8,000. That is not a mid sized home. A mid sized home is a 1,000 sq foot bungalow. The city can not give you a break because MPAC assessed your brand new 2,500 sq foot home to be worth 500,000. It is up to you to fight the assessment.

Tax rates are based on total values of property classes.
1/27/2014 3:43:23 PM
mikevirtanen1961 says:
$8,000 a month is triple what the average homeowner pays per year. I'm glad you have so many friends with multi-million dollar mansions. Maybe one of them can build an event centre themselves and donate it to the city.
1/27/2014 1:33:29 PM
musicferret says:
LOL Multi million $ mansions?

You pay over $10000 on a $500000 house!
Many entire subdivisions of mid sized houses on small lots are all paying over $6500!

The entire area near the hospital comes to mind. Some of these people bought their houses for $300000 and are now paying over $8000 a year in tax.

As for the events centre, we don't need it, can't afford it, and no intelligent person would pay to build it....

city will likely try and do it anyway.
1/27/2014 1:36:57 PM
conker2012 says:
If they paid 300,000 and the taxes jumped to 8000 a year then the assessed value jumped passed $410,000 and assessments are typically about 25% lower than the resale price. So the resale price is around $550k...... Why would you complain about $250k in equity?

That person should sell their house and downsize to a $300k house and buy a camp from the $250k in equity.
1/27/2014 4:24:53 PM
Me n My Opinion says:
@musicferret, I seem to recall a post you made not long ago about how your taxes are approaching 12,000 a year, and it becoming almost cheaper to rent. Quite frankly, if you're paying anywhere in the 8 - 12K range, I don't think you're going to get much sympathy. 8,000 a year puts your assessed value at 430,000, and a market value of probably half a million or more. If you're paying the 12K you eluded to in the other article, then your assessed value is in the neighbourhood of 630,000. Either way, you're living in an awful nice house, and by extension, should be able to afford your taxes.

One other funny thing with you is every time there is discussion about funding music or music related arts, you're all over it like it's the best investment there is. If you're against spending money on public art, then you should also be against spending on music.
1/27/2014 1:46:59 PM
musicferret says:
Regardless of the exact figure Me n My, the issue is:

1) How much did you pay for your house?
2) How much were taxes at that time?
3) How much have taxes INCREASED?

This is problem with the current system: you even have seniors on fixed income living in decent houses..... they increase in value and they suddenly find themselves paying many times the taxes they used to, and they lose the house.

I have been blessed with a decent increase in value, but I am now in the same boat as the seniors: my taxes have more than doubled in the last few years and affording them is getting impossible. I'm not the only one. There are many, in many different income brackets in this city, who have been hit hard by the city tax increases and the MPAC increases.

And we have no recourse. We just get screwed. Essentially being punished for making good real estate decisions.
1/27/2014 2:08:51 PM
Me n My Opinion says:
No no no no no. The increase in property values and assessments has NOTHING to do with taxes increasing. Taxes increase year after year, just like your carrots and orange juice does. Can the city operate more efficiently? Yes, I believe they can - that could lower your taxes. Can the city cut certain services? Yes, I believe they can - that could lower your taxes. But the value of your home increasing doesn't cause your taxes to go up.
1/27/2014 2:57:02 PM
musicferret says:
If the increase in my property value has nothing to do with my increasing taxes, then what does the city multiply the tax rate by to decide how much tax I have to pay them?

My assessed value!

Am I missing something here? It couldn't be more direct.
1/27/2014 3:07:14 PM
conker2012 says:
You have no IDEA what you are talking about. Your property value has everything to do with your taxes changing. The tax rate is multiplied by your assessed property value. If your property's value doubles then your taxes will follow. Last year the tax rate was reduced yet tax revenue went up. The city gets a report from MPAC telling them the assessed value of all property within our taxable jurisdiction. The city then analyses what are the projected costs for the upcoming year versus what supplementary income they have and from this they determine what is the required tax revenue required to ensure the inflow balances the outflow.

The problem lies in the cost of adding new maintainable areas without adding enough tax base to offset the costs. The cost to maintain and replace roads, sidewalks, sewers and waterlines far exceeds the revenue generated from new builds. The only way to solve this is more dense and expensive homes. (I.E. Condos).
1/27/2014 3:15:43 PM
S Duncan says:
If musicferret has a nice home worth $500K its because he/she worked for it and made sacrifices in order to buy it.

That does not entitle freeloader lazy socialists to his/her money to subsidize your desire to buy a new hockey rink.

If you want a new hockey rink buy one with your own money, not others.

If its such an investment you should have people lining up ready to get a return on their cash infusion.

but there is nobody willing to pony up the cash is there? There's only people who promise to help you get some.

Talk is cheap, but Thunder Bay is a welfare town now so they can be bought off for cheap illusions of "investment" and welfare hockey.

thats the cold hard reality of this. Its a loser but then again misery loves company.
1/27/2014 2:11:20 PM
Me n My Opinion says:
I agree that if musicferret has a nice home, then good for him (I apologize for using "him" if you're a her). My point is that his taxes aren't going up because his property's value has increased. I'm sure you understand the concept behind that.

And just so you know, I don't support a new arena. I need a lot more information about it before I make up my mind about it. I agree it wouold be a great thing for the city, but I want to know more about the financial details before I decide one way or the other.
1/27/2014 3:45:28 PM
Bigtime says:
Once again, I was not aware that you were able to predict the future. Can I go ahead and get tomorrows lottery numbers too?
You do understand that, taxes pay for infrastructure and part of that equals Social Infrastructure (art, events centre etc). The point is, you choose to live in this city, then you must pay taxes. People keep saying that the the tax payers need to have a say in how the money is spent....its called voting in a city council, you had your say and now the chosen council by the majority vote decides what to do with the money. Even if your chosen candidates did not win...that's democracy. There is an option..you can move silly.
1/27/2014 3:53:19 PM
S Duncan says:
The city's own statements project a yearly overall loss right around $1million.

You can bet these empire builders made that a very conservative estimate because administration and his oops, their friends want a welfare hockey rink to brag about.
1/27/2014 4:44:17 PM
sky high says:
musicferret quit with the BS. To pay 10000 dollars in taxes your house would have to be worth close to 900,000.00 You whiners might have a tad more credibility if you checked your facts once in a blue moon
1/27/2014 4:04:48 PM
musicferret says:
No, that would be around $500k. Try agin.
1/27/2014 8:22:49 PM
sky high says:
Try again...on a 350,000 house it is 4200 in taxes. Trust me I know.
1/27/2014 9:16:47 PM
Me n My Opinion says:
Ever heard the saying never trust anyone who says trust me? Musicferret's right. $10,000 in taxes would be paid on a house assessed at $525,000
1/27/2014 10:21:34 PM
sky high says:
Quit your cane-shaking. A house worth 350 thousand PAYS about 4200 in taxes. Once again, I know. Don't care what you fib
1/28/2014 11:49:23 AM
Me n My Opinion says:
LOL. I'm hardly a cane shaker. Or a fibber. The tax rate table is available on the City of Thunder Bay website. If you look at that, you will see that the 2013 tax rate for residential properties is .01901627. Do the math: 10,000 / .01901627 = $525,865.50 which would be the assessed value of a house that pays $10K in taxes. Don't you hate when facts get in the way?
1/28/2014 2:22:59 PM
fastball says:
Well, kind of tax bill means you're living in a home worth on the high side of half a million dollars.
That's like complaining about the price of gas when you drive a Hummer.
1/27/2014 5:45:48 PM
SomeGuy says:
It's like $16.67 a month more to your property taxes.
1/27/2014 6:36:51 PM
young&concerned says:
No comments allowed for "smash-and-grab" story but et you guys allow comments for this "smash-and-grab" to us the taxpayers!
1/27/2014 12:42:08 PM
young&concerned says:
2.1 % increase...well worth it! Just one more step closer to get rid of Hobbs and company once and for all. Those sitting on the fence regarding re-election... welcome!
1/27/2014 12:35:08 PM
Wolfie says:
Here come the whiners.

But before they do, I'd just like to point out that this isn't that far off of the inflation rate. The cost of everything rises over time. Why shouldn't taxes?
1/27/2014 12:17:56 PM
bttnk says:
Wolfie - You are right, but consider that our reassessments already will net the city a significant amount of additional tax revenue and that this is on top of that increase. Therefore, in actual fact it is quite a bit more than inflation.

More importantly, the city continues to maintain an operating budget and structure that is not sustainable over the long term. Indeed, the time has come to outsource some of the peripheral services that the city provides that can be done by private contractors and a greatly reduced burden to the taxpayer. It is only a matter of time before the City of Thunder Bay expands its tax base to some of the rural areas (ie. Shuniah, Neebing) as permitted under the Municipal Act.
1/27/2014 12:33:55 PM
mikevirtanen1961 says:
Reassessments are revenue-neutral; increases on some properties are offset by reductions on others. What the City is gaining money from is assessment growth; there are more properties being added to the tax rolls.

Privatization is not a miracle cure. Look at what's happening to highway maintenance; all three local contractors have been fined this winter for half-assing the job.
1/27/2014 1:13:08 PM
bttnk says:
Correct, privatization is not a miracle cure, yet we know for certain it will save taxpayers money. When and which services are contracted out privately is a strategic decision that requires sound planning.

For snow removal, the private companies are performing good, but not great, wich I am okay with. It wasn't great under the old system either.
1/27/2014 2:07:06 PM
smartguy83 says:
I believe last year saw a scale back in tax rates due to the 2013 reassessments. So your point may be wrong
1/27/2014 1:20:45 PM
crypto says:
Sure it's not far off from the inflation rate, but with tax increases and food/essentials/insurance premiums going up there's no relief.

Couple this with the fact that wage increases often don't match the inflation rate, and we end up being squeezed from both sides.
1/27/2014 12:39:23 PM
musicferret says:
Whiners= those who don't want to see the city bankrupted?

Wake up!

Even an increase just at the inflation rate would be too much at this point.

And as mentioned by others, increases in assessments combined with wage stagnation and a tax increase (on already sky-high taxes) which is higher than inflation..... these are exceedingly bad things. Anyone with a basic understanding of budgets knows that this is a really bad situation to be in.

Add in the drunken spending increases proposed for the events centre and other pet projects plus the anticipated crumbling of the Tbaytel 'dividend', and we are in big trouble.... all this assuming the provincial/fed budgets don't take a hit.... oh wait.... they're already saying expect big time cuts.

We are in trouble, and thats not 'whiners'.
1/27/2014 12:49:28 PM
Me n My Opinion says:
Just to clarify one point you made, an increase in your assessment doesn't necessarily mean an increase in your taxes. In fact, if the percent increase to your assessment was less than the percent increase for the average of all homes in Thunder Bay, your taxes are actually being reduced. All the assessments do is realign who pays what. The city still develops it's budget in the same manner as it always has. The assessment determines who gets what share of that budget, so some people will pay a larger share, some will pay a lesser share, and some will stay about the same as they were. The assessments don't add anything to the city's coffers.
1/27/2014 1:11:00 PM
gotcha says:
that this isn't that far off of the inflation rate

Its more than double the inflation rate 1.7% natural increase from tax base plus another 2.1% proposed increase.

These Big Spenders have increased or expanded spending by 3.85 % over the last 13 years and are once again talking about subsidizing somebodies hobby (Hockey) to the tune of BAZZILIONS.

Ok with me but this time I want a subsidy on my minnows (say half price)
1/27/2014 1:04:52 PM
ring of fire dude says:
So the City will be gouging me 2.38% on my tax bill to spend on luxuries like the Event Center , Art and the Indian Friendship Center ? Nice .
1/27/2014 12:15:30 PM
Eastender says:
And here we go.
Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.

1/27/2014 12:10:51 PM
Dan Dan says:
If this helps pay for the proposed events centre, then it's worth it!
1/27/2014 12:07:59 PM
S Duncan says:
Why dont you pay for everybody's increase? If its no big deal you shouldnt whine about it.

Better yet, you can pay for the whole hockey rink. If its worth it you'll have no trouble investing your own money in it.

The reality is its not worth it. Its already projected to lose $1 million every year. Thats 10 times what Municipal Golf course was costing us.

Welfare hockey rink supporters dont like to discuss the facts and financial details pertaining to this future disaster so they throw out emotional hyperbole to justify their greedy feelings.

Of course Thunder Bay has become nothing but a bastion of people asking for a handout.

This is just more failures under the Hobbs/Comisso column. Its hard to keep track how much these hogs have cost us.

1/27/2014 12:45:10 PM
sky high says:
What do you care as you've continually stated you are moving outside of the city limits. This tax increase is too low in my opinion, but I'm entitled to this opinion because I will always live in Thunder Bay. As for you, Duncan, looks like Nolalu gonna gain itself a whiner!
1/27/2014 12:54:15 PM
fastball says:
You're starting to sound a little shrill, SDuncan. Or a stuck record.
We get it...the whole "fancy hockey rink" in a socialist welfare state, etc etc.
It's called an investment of sorts. If you do not find ways to make this town viable, it will slowly die. The heydays of the lumber, the grain and the shipyard industries are long over. You have to give reason for people to invest their time and money here. And a new facility where shows, tournaments, exhibitions and conventions can be hosted is one part of remaining viable.
You don't like it - you've made that clear. Ad infinitum ad nauseum. But for the rest of the population that has to spend a substantial chunk of their lives here - it would be nice to be considered on par with places like Red Deer, Drumheller, Kelowna, Brandon, SSMarie and Cornerbrook. Those places have all held events in the past few years - and they don't seem to be doing too badly...for workers' paradises, that is.
1/27/2014 1:09:52 PM
musicferret says:
This is NOT an investment if you are looking at it in the $ sense. This is a guaranteed losing proposition and that is why nobody in their right mind would build it themselves without the taxpayers footing the bill.

This will not be a profit centre, it will be a COST CENTRE.
1/27/2014 1:32:45 PM
fastball says:
Note the "an investment of sorts" line.
Yes, it will cost money to maintain, duh - anyplace does.
But if it costs 300K a year to maintain (for example), and it attracts opportunities that bring in 3 million dollars annually (let's say)to the local economy in the way of hotel rooms, restaurants, bars, shops, stores and visitors - how is that a LOSING money proposition? Spending 300K to make 3 million?
By your logic - taxicabs are a losing proposition because they cost money to run.
1/27/2014 1:40:14 PM
S Duncan says:
You seem to be ignorant of the reality that this hockey rink is going to LOSE $1million per year.

Its not going to cost $1 million to run. Its going to LOSE!

Thats after all the numbers come in. It is not an investment of any kind. It will take $1 million tax dollars every year and throw them away. It does not make money, it does not add to the bottom line.

Taxi cabs are not an investment. They are a tool used to generate income. The costs to run are offset by the money they make.

The new hockey rink will lose $1million/year above and beyond operating costs and any revenue generated.

Do you not understand red and black ink accounting? That might explain why you are for this financial liability.

Do the people of Thunder Bay need to subsidize hockey, restaurants and bars now?

Besides, you wont attract people from Duluth, Minneapolis, Winnipeg, Sault, etc.. by building something they already have.

facts, logic and simple math shows this is a failure in the making.
1/27/2014 1:58:16 PM
ring of fire dude says:
I also add that the City is NOT running the proposed Event Center . A previous news release stated that an arena management company will be running day to day operations , so there goes the profit aspect .
1/28/2014 4:16:09 PM
musicferret says:
No, spending $106 million (plus budget overruns) plus $1m+ per year to make a couple million.

This thing isn't free, right?!
Looks like you forgot about that 1/10th of a billion $ we'll be paying for this thing.

There is NO WAY we will get any type of return on our investment. Opportunity cost. What could be done with the money elsewhere? Or how much could be saved NOT spending the money.
1/27/2014 2:04:11 PM
fastball says:
Well, obviously you have to pay to build it - just like you take a loan out to build a house. Let's see what the senior levels of government will cough up, and then you pay the rest off over 20-odd years. If the money is available from other sources, you grab it when you can. Otherwise, you're turning down 60 million because don't want to spend 25.
1/27/2014 5:40:25 PM
S Duncan says:
If he took a loan out to build it, he had to guarantee it was financially viable. A bank doesn't hand out large sums of money for things that don't add up.

That's why no investors are willing to put up the cash for this. (Banks loan money from investors)

If musicferret chose to build a home, its because he invested in it and committed to live in it. It made financial sense and it was his decision to make. He assumed the risk and responsibility to his commitment.

It wasn't the community that invested in his house. It wasn't the government either but for some reason you think his investment in his home should fund your welfare hockey rink.

If money is available from the province and feds, that's still our money because they get it from us too. So even if the spendaholic Ontario government kicks in, its still our money.

Invest your own money, not everybody elses by force.

next youre going to want us to fund a giant statue of Keith Hobbs holding stacks of our cash.
1/27/2014 9:43:34 PM
musicferret says:
Worth what!?

Highest taxes in Ontario, increases well beyond wage growth and you want to have a nice place to watch hockey!? SERIOUSLY!?
1/27/2014 12:53:22 PM
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