It Won’t Cost Taxpayers Anything

When someone says this, they are mostly either misleading you or do not understand themselves whose money it is.

It WILL cost you when they make these decisions. Let’s review where the money that won’t cost taxpayers anything comes from.

The Town has many different revenue streams: Northam, Holdco, Police background checks, etc. These are town assets and thus taxpayer money. It is not Council’s money. Council is deciding how to use your money.

Sometimes, Councillors tell you that your money can only be used for certain expenditures. It is true that Council can pass bylaws that restrict how the money can be spent. They can legislate that money from Holdco can only be used for capital expenditures. However, they can also legislate or pass exemptions to the bylaw so any revenue stream from the Town can be spent on any Town expense.

Economists have a term called opportunity cost. Opportunity cost is the value of the next-best alternative when a decision is made; it’s what is given up.

As a current example, Council voted to use some of these funds for a consultant user fee study. (See Does Town Staff or Council Run This Town?) They made the decision not to use this money to repair our infrastructure: roads, sidewalks, town buildings East Pier; not to plant trees to affect climate change; not to pay for a new fire truck; and not for any other worthwhile projects.

These funds should be used for projects that benefit many residents as possible.

Whether they misrepresent that this will not cost taxpayers anything or simply do not understand themselves, is this someone you want on Council making important decisions on how to spend your money?

Ask candidates why they are spending your money on things like consultant funded User Fee studies from Northam revenues and then claiming it won’t cost you, the taxpayer, any money. They are either misleading you or do not understand that this is your money.