T&T stays the course

You can always count on the Times & Transcript to take a one-sided and not-thought-out position on just about every issue. I guess that is the papers’ right but it doesn’t do much for the residents of this region.

Take the amalgamation issue now in the works out on the coast. Think about my blog yesterday outlining – one view to be sure – my concerns regarding the long term viability of smaller communities and the fact many of them are run de facto out of Fredericton.

So, the T&T’s story today doesn’t mention any of the many facets of this issue except it being a ‘tax grab’ and it goes from there. Rural residents don’t ‘expect additional services’, the article states.

It’s almost as if the T&T (Al Hogan) believes that rural residents are stupid and don’t want to control thier own communities. All to save a few bucks in property taxes.

That may be true – but I’d like to know for sure rather than Al Hogan insinuate it in an editorial.

I would like to ask every single rural resident if they would prefer having a local layer of government that was well resourced and fighting for the community’s long term economic survival – or having the status quo and watching their communities slowly dwindle down to nothing.

To be sure, local government is not a panacea. In addition, there is no direct correlation between a well resourced local layer of government and economic/population growth (that I can find). But I have to believe that it is better to have it than not.

And for Al Hogan to whittle it down to an issue of a few more property tax dollars should be offensive to the residents in those communities and in the region.

There is more – much more – to life than trying to squeeze every dollar in tax decreases you can out of government. New Brunswickers already pay the second lowest average family taxes in all of Canada . This is not because our tax rates are low but because our income levels are low and that translates into lower overall taxes paid. The goal should be to do things to raise income levels – not chip away at taxes when we already only generate only about 60% of own-source revenue to pay for government services.

If a broader community government in that region can lead to better planning and more advocacy for development there – that should be the primary concern.