Like many, I too have personally experienced the economic and mental health effects that COVID-19 has created in our community. From my standpoint, alleviating some of the financial pressures of today's current circumstances will generate a positive impact for our residents. A recent poll conducted by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health found that “50% of Canadians reported worsening mental health since the pandemic began”. ScienceDirect, a database of scientific and medical publications, outlined a survey that was conducted with over 4600 Canadians and the effects of COVID-19. They found that “Interventions to increase the economic security of the population will have far-reaching consequences in terms of improved mental health, and should be continued throughout the pandemic.”
That is why the primary focus of my campaign is the economic and mental health of our residents, and to achieve this, my first objective is to reduce property taxes by 5% for Leduc Citizens in 2022.
Since announcing my candidacy, many have questioned how this would be possible in light of current budget restrictions within the City of Leduc. My response is simply this: if others are doing it, why can’t we? A quick Google search will begin to show you that Banff, Camrose, Calgary, Chestmemer, and, my personal favourite, our Leduc County neighbours are all on their first or second year of reducing property taxes for their constituents.
In February 2021, the financial post outlined a new report “Cost-cutting options for municipalities” which “highlight[ed] 10 initiatives municipal governments could pursue to reduce expenditures and lower property taxes” in light of the pandemic. Some examples from this report identified areas around selling surplus land/assets and prioritizing spending. The City of Calgary went on their own route and created Solutions for Achieving Value and Excellence (SAVE) program, which “is helping the City review existing initiatives and look for new solutions to modernize our service delivery while continuing to keep citizens at the center of our decisions.Through SAVE’s strategic approach to cost savings, the city exceeded its 2021 target of $24 million and was able to identify $26 million in net base budget savings”.
As your mayoral candidate, I bring 50 years of business experience, not political, and in doing so, I believe it is important to spend taxpayer dollars in a sustainable and responsible manner. This does not mean increasing taxes after our operating and capital budget have been maximized. I’m not certain if the current Council shares the same sentiment as I do, but what I do know is that from 2017-2019 I have experienced some of the largest tax notices, whether they were from property tax increases or property (re)assessments. It’s also worth mentioning that the current Council has just budgeted property tax increases in both 2022 and 2023.
If elected, I will decrease property taxes by 5% because I believe reducing the financial burdens that Leduc citizens are facing today will have an effect on improving mental health in our community. I look forward to working with the City of Leduc’s Administration, and I want the City to know that all decisions will be conducted in an ethical and moral manner. “Supporting Local, Supporting You” includes residents, businesses, and those who work within City Administration and Employees!