Value for property taxes a concern in Chappelle

I hear a consistent message on this campaign. When I ask what concerns you have, more times than not the answer is “taxes.”

To be fair, it’s not that residents are against paying property taxes, they just don’t seem to feel they’re getting proper value for their money.

I heard plenty about it during a meet and greet event in the Creekwood area of Chappelle.

                                                                                                      photo credit: Geoff Stickle

The major part of my campaign platform is to show some pragmatism over the next four years on municipal government spending, and not always vote towards spending that will lead to property tax increases.

Same story while door knocking

My message for keeping taxes as low as possible is also being welcomed when I speak with residents on their doorsteps. One taxpayer in Allard said his annual bill went from just under $4,000 to $4,600 in six years. It’s especially hard on seniors who are seeing the cost of their bills going up, but their income isn’t keeping pace.

Here’s a solution to funding facilities without digging into taxpayers’ wallets

There is demand for recreational facilities, especially for kids. I have been approached with a request to support a relatively low cost set of what are being called “streetball courts” in high demand areas of the city. 

“Streetball” could fit within select city properties. A court on a rubberized playing surface, outfitted both with basketball hoops along the sides, and soccer nets at either end, surrounded by a chain link fence means any missed shots don’t involve ten minutes of chasing an errant ball and more play time. 

It would provide much needed space to engage youth, in a safe environment, to keep them occupied, healthy and engaged.

However when I was approached I said my support is also contingent on finding the money through other savings, and not taxpayers’ dollars.

This is something where Edmonton Minor Soccer, Alberta Soccer, Basketball Alberta and even social organizations like REACH should play a role. Those tens-of-thousands of dollars raised through 50/50 draws at Oiler games through the Edmonton Oilers Charitable Foundation could sure go a long way to this goal as well.

I would be more than happy to facilitate making this happen.

If it doesn’t, we stand a good chance to lose a popular program that’s already produced international star Alphonso Davies. 

That’s based on a comment from a former colleague of mine, from when we were both in the press gallery at City Hall. Tim Adams has taken to Twitter to suggest 13 years of “Free Footy” could be coming to a close.

Adams is calling on more government support. “I won’t do this @freeplayforkids thing much longer” he wrote. “Govt fund it or lose it.”

My solution is to get public support dollars in the system to benefit all Edmontonians. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Scott Johnston for Edmonton City Council