Tax issues on back burner in Rossland

"With all the focus in Rossland... we shouldn’t lose sight of other concerns ... taxes."

With all the focus in Rossland on the arena contracts scandal and the prospect of school closures in Rossland, we shouldn’t lose sight of other concerns … taxes.

We still don’t know the final cost of the Columbia/Washington project and its impact on taxes. (When are we going to be informed on this?)

It has been reported that the city is looking into possibly picking up the SD 20 budget shortfall to keep schools in Rossland. A noble thought, but we haven’t seen numbers on the potential impact on taxes.

We don’t know the impact of the arbitrator’s decision on the regional sewage service and its impact on taxes if Rossland has to pay an increased share.

We haven’t seen the Stage 2 Liquid Waste Management Plan yet and the potential impact on taxes for upgrading the regional sewage system. Given Rossland’s projection of an ultimate population of about 17,000, our share could be significant.

We don’t know the impact on taxes for future infrastructure upgrades for the projected 10,000 people at Red Mountain (as used to size sewage pipes for the Columbia/Washington project).

Given that council has decided no Development Cost Charges are necessary, this burden will fall on existing taxpayers.

Add to this the continued burden of exorbitant salaries to senior staff at City Hall.

As a taxpayer on a retirees fixed income, I’m concerned about the cumulative impact of these issues on taxes and whether Rossland will be affordable in the future.

Hopefully, city council and Rossland’s highly paid management staff are keeping an ‘eye on the ball’, but it would sure be nice if they provided some relevant information to the people paying their salaries.

These issues are a lot more important than whether dogs and smoking should be allowed downtown!

Ken HolmesRossland