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Archive for August, 2009

Unfair equalization a major factor in region’s decline

August 28th, 2009 No comments

The Cape Breton Regional Municipality’s Integrated Community Sustainability Plan documents the vast range of expenditures that municipalities make in providing their services. The definition of standard expenditures contained in the Municipal Grants Act covers only a fraction of actual municipal expenditures each year.

If the provincial government, however, was fully funding the services provided by municipalities under an adequate equalization program, the municipal grants would have to be at least three times their current levels.
For example, the report cites the year 2006-07 where Class 1 standard expenditures were funded $303,810,320 when the actual expenditures by municipalities were $924,772,582 (pp.72-3)

Meanwhile, the deafening roar of silence from local MLAs and MPs of all parties continues while CBRM residents are paying approximately $18 million more in property taxes than comparable properties in the Halifax Regional Municipality.

When, for example, a resident in Sydney in 2008-09, with a property assessed at $100,000, pays about $882 more annually than the equivalent-assessed property in HRM, where were the outcries of unfairness from your MLAs?

This unfair equalization policy of the provincial government, supported by all provincial political parties and aided and abetted by the federal government’s Pontius Pilot stance of annually washing its hands of its responsibility, has been a major factor to CBRM’s economic decline.

Due to this government policy, the resultant gloomy economic future depicted in CBRM’s sustainability plan has CBRM officials calling for the people to seriously consider a political restructuring so that decisions affecting their economic survival will be in their own hands. “This process would culminate in a plebiscite on the creation of a regional government with broad responsibility for the delivery of all provincial and municipal services in the region.” (p. 140).

The newly elected provincial government, however, has an opportunity to comply with Section 36 of the Constitution Act of 1982 in its coming fall budget. If it fails to do so, the residents will have to seriously proceed with the recommendation in the sustainability report to democratically demand control over their own self-determination.

Charles W. Sampson
Sydney Forks
Nova Scotians for Equalization Fairness

http://www.capebretonpost.com/index.cfm?sid=281717&sc=595

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Citizens group bringing attention to differences in tax rates – Cape Breton Post – Aug 27

August 28th, 2009 No comments

Protest Sign - Cape Breton Post - Front Page - Carl MacIntyre - Aug 27

Citizens group bringing attention to tax differences - Cape Breton Post - Aug 27

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Wanted: CBRM Councillors

August 28th, 2009 No comments
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Absent councillors have a second chance

August 24th, 2009 No comments

Absent councillors have a second chance - Charles Sampson - NSEF

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Shaming N.S government into negotiating an equitable municipal funding formula

August 24th, 2009 No comments

Shaming N.S. government into negotiating an equitable municipal funding forumla - Frances Oommen

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Public Debate Needed

August 24th, 2009 No comments

 Public Debate Needed - Chronicle Herald - J.D.F Young - NSEF

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CBRM sustainability report paints bleak picture

August 23rd, 2009 No comments

News - CBRM sustainability report paints bleak picture

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NDP government has obligation to ensure promise of Cape Breton realized

August 22nd, 2009 No comments

NDP Government has Obligation to Ensure Promise of Cape Breton Realized

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Citizens aim to improve grasp of equalization

August 22nd, 2009 No comments

Cape Breton Post August 4 2009

The taxpayers of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality are very much concerned about the $105 million debt. How in the world are we going to pay this down?
Regional council members are very often attacked for spending without the visible revenue to cover the expense. No doubt these councillors are dedicated citizens willing to work hard for the betterment of the region. Shouldn’t it bother these members that the cheque sent to the provincial government from CBRM for services such as public housing, corrections, education and libraries is more than the cheque received from the Nova Scotia government for equalization to CBRM?
The annual discrepancies in provincial transfers to CBRM, measured by actual grant as a share of entitlement, is very revealing — shocking is a better word.
If we take CBRM’s entitlement grant share as 100 per cent, since the 1999-2000 taxation year the grant has steadily decreased by an average of about five points per year so that in 2009-2010 our share received from the province is 54 per cent.
It was grossly unfair back in 2000; it is getting progressively worse. I am reminded of a saying by Sam Goldwyn: “I improved it worst.”
The councillors and MLAs should be screaming for fairness in equalization as set down in the Constitution.
Some well-intentioned citizens meet at the Cedars Club on MacKenzie Street in Sydney each Wednesday at 6 o’clock. They have titled themselves Nova Scotians for Equalization Fairness, NSEF. They intend to get facts and present them to the public, and to invite councillors and MLAs for their input and commitment.
These citizens are from all parts of CBRM and we welcome newcomers, people who are fed up with the way our area has been treated on equalization.
You see, there is no security in the amount of the transfer from one year to the next. Under such circumstances, how can council be expected to set a realistic budget?
Carl MacIntyre
Big Pond Centre

http://www.capebretonpost.com/index.cfm?sid=275031&sc=595

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Glaring inequities need to be pointed out

August 21st, 2009 No comments

July 24 2009 Glaring Inequalities Need to be Pointed Out - Carl MacIntyre

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