Quesnel City Council will express it’s opposition to a plan by the Provincial Government to claw back the traffic fine money it normally gets.
Mayor Bob Simpson says all communities over 5,000 people have been getting traffic fine money on a per capita basis as part of a cost-sharing agreement.
For Quesnel, he says that was roughly 150 thousand dollars annually.
Simpson says the new proposal would see the province keep the money with the idea that municipalities won’t be carrying some of the costs associated with the traffic fine collection process because it will all be done electronically.
Simpson says that just doesn’t add up…
“But more than that there is a gross inequity on how policing is funded between the Provincial Government and the City of Quesnel, so they’re really not offsetting the inequities in how they fund policing. They fund nine officers, we as taxpayers in the City fund 21 officers, so they might want to address that, not just take money back.”
Simpson says the 150 thousand dollar hit would amount to a 1 1/2 percent tax increase for residents.
And he says it also comes against the backdrop of switching from MSP, the Medical Services Premiums, to this new employer health tax…
“Where the City of Quesnel, like other employers, will pick up the 100 percent cost of an employer health tax, which is about another half of a percent in the out years of a tax hit to the City of Quesnel, so all in that’s a two percent increment in taxation for the City of Quesnel with no additional value to the taxpayer. It’s just the province kind of readjusting their books.”
Simpson says they will write a letter to the province and put together a resolution for the Union of BC Municipalities Convention, calling on the government to either leave the revenue sharing from traffic fines the way it is, or to come forward with a plan to more equitably cost share the policing function itself.