EDITORIAL: It's tax time for Tri-City councils

City councils across Metro Vancouver and the province — including Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody — are embarking on the annual budget process that will eventually conclude with property owners handing over a cheque mid-way through next year.

It’s an inevitable and necessary process that some equate with death but is quite complicated for those making the decisions. Should politicians approve higher taxes to maintain existing services or should they slash those services to avoid taxpayers’ displeasure.

Resolving this dilemma is by no means easy. In Port Coquitlam for example, taxpayers are split on the issue, with 47% of respondents in a recent city poll opting for a tax increase to keep or improve services and 42% choosing  cuts over paying more in taxes.

There is no question that taxation is a sensitive issue because people’s paycheques aren’t increasing at the same rate as most tax hikes. But while it’s hard to fork over more cash each year, there is much to value in safe roads, ample recreation opportunities and well-planned cities.

What do you say? Would you support cuts to city services so municipal taxes go up only at the rate of inflation? Vote in our online poll.

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