Thursday, October 1, 2009

Snow and ice and roads and taxes

In an opinion piece by the Calgary Herald's Naomi Lakritz about the cost of clearing snow from city streets, Lakritz interviews Eric Sawyer, The City's chief financial officer, who says that a two per cent property tax increase would be about enough for the average household to increase the snow clearing budget by $14 million - a sufficient amount to clear city streets.

Ms. Lakritz argues that she would gladly pay $22.50 per year for what she calls a 'basic service.' The extra $1.87 a month will not only make the streets safer, but (hopefully) soften the seeminlgly endless rhetoric by city officials and the public about snow clearing, or as she says: "Plows are everywhere, the officials claim. Plows are nowhere, the angry citizens reply. And so it will go for yet another winter. You don't have to be psychic to read the same old mouldy tea leaves all over again."

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with Ms. Lakritz, should taxpayers pay more to improve this service?

Here is an interview with Dean Bell, Manager of Roads Maintenence about a report that his team compiled about snow and ice control this year.

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