Some Richmond Hill residents are upsets about having to now pay an exchange fee for damaged blue and green boxes especially since the boxes are mostly damaged by the waste management collectors not by the residents. Why isn't the waste management company offsetting the cost instead of residents? Good question?
CAG did some digging and found that this bin exchange fee is in fact not a new charge but it did increase for 2020.
This is one of the many user fees and fines that increased in 2020 in order to give Council the .73% tax increase it wanted for 2020. Staff were directed by Council to increase user fees revenues by up to 5%.
This 39 pages of user fees and fines shows all of the increases for 2020. The blue box exchange is on page 29. It went from $7 in 2019 to $7.35 in 2020.
At the Budget Committee of the Whole on June 23, 2020 Staff was instructed that the tax rate increase be no more than 0.5% for 2021. Considering that we were well into the pandemic at that time it seems premature and foolish to still expect only a .5% tax increase. Tax increase percentages should be based on sound financial decisions not to based on campaign promises made by a few.
If Council insists on only a .5% increase what other user fees and fines will increase? Richmond Hill collects taxes to pay for the costs of everyday operations and activities, including utilities, rent, insurance, staff wages and benefits, program supplies, transportation and repairs. If not enough taxes are collected through our property taxes then it has to come from somewhere. Will they continue to use the reserve funds until there is nothing left? Hopefully not!
This year in particular there is a lot more money going out than coming into the Richmond Hill bank accounts so a tax increase of only .5% seems like it would be a bad financial decision and not in the best interests of the residents.