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Mayoral race: Mills promises to keep tax increases at or below inflation levels

Property taxes have increased almost 13% in past four years, she says
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Mayoral candidate Patricia Mills. (Supplied)

Greater Sudbury mayoral candidate Patricia Mills promises to keep tax increases at or below the rate of inflation for the next four years if she's elected.

Mills is critical of how the current mayor — Brian Bigger — has managed the city’s finances. 

In the past four years, property taxes increased by almost 13 per cent, operating budgets went up 12 per cent, user fees are up 14 per cent and water charges increased by 27 per cent.
 
To put that in perspective, the average yearly rate of inflation for the past four years was lower than three per cent.

“This is what happens when you don’t set clear targets. My target will be to try and keep taxes at the rate of inflation,” she said, in a press release.

This mayor doesn’t know how to govern. As a result, we’re living with double-digit hikes, when we don’t have to. If you don’t curb taxes, you are inviting higher spending and higher budgets.” 

Following is the full text of Mills' release:

Patricia Mills says the city needs to hold the line on taxes. Mills’ financial platform for the city calls for a wise use of resources. That includes lower tax increases, better budgeting, smarter spending and driving economic growth. 

For Mills, holding the line on taxes means working hard to keep increases at or below the rate of inflation. “We need to put taxpayers first. I refuse to put the special interests of others ahead of the interest of taxpayers.”

“I understand the value of a hard-earned dollar. I will work hard over the next four years to keep more of our citizens’ money in their own pockets.”
 
Mills is critical of how the current Mayor has managed the city’s finances. In the past four years, property taxes increased by almost 13%; operating budgets went up 12%, user fees are up 14% and water charges increased by 27%.
 
To put that in perspective, the average yearly rate of inflation for the past four years was lower than 3%.
 
“This is what happens when you don’t set clear targets. My target will be to try and keep taxes at the rate of inflation. 

This mayor doesn’t know how to govern. As a result, we’re living with double-digit hikes, when we don’t have to. If you don’t curb taxes, you are inviting higher spending and higher budgets.” 
 
Mills says tax increases are not good for the community. They hurt vulnerable populations like seniors on fixed incomes and low income families struggling to make ends meet. Tax increases are hard on small businesses that can’t absorb the added costs to do business. And they are bad for job creation. 

The City of Greater Sudbury, led by the mayor, has tabled a long-term financial plan which projects tax increases above the rate of inflation for the next 10 years. 

The city also plans to double its debt load to pay for large projects. 

“What I’m hearing as I go door-to-door meeting people is that this is not affordable. A lot of people are just trying to make ends meet.” 

Learn more about Mills' candidacy by visiting her election page on Sudbury.com.




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