"A nation of sheep begets a government of wolves." - Edward R. Murrow
Today being the deadline for paying one's property taxes to the DWV, it seems as good day as any for a last ITAC broadcast e-mail before the summer doldrums take hold.
In our last e-mail, we advised that, as of 2005, the DWV had on its payroll some 139 employees who were each being paid in excess of $75,000. per annum [plus a generous benefit package worth close to 35% of salary]. This is up from only 41 such employees in the year 2000. In other words, a 339% increase in just five years. Also, the aggregate cost of these employees' salaries has gone from approximately $3.8 million in 2000 to over $12.7 million in 2005. This is an increase of 344% over five years. Further, while these employees constitute 14% of the District's 1,001 employees, they consume fully 30% of the total salaries and wages being paid. The year previous, this group took home 24% of the total. The trend is clear: management and supervisory personnel are being compensated disproportionate to front-line workers.
In his column in last Friday's xml:namespace prefix =" st1" ns =" "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags"" />
With respect, I say that's utter nonsense.
I agree with our mayor when she states that "community awareness" needs to be raised but for entirely different reasons. In his superb Tax Me, I'm Canadian, published in 2002, Mark Milke observes, "Democracy requires vigilance and to ignore that duty is to show the greatest possible contempt for democracy itself." That statement of principle underpins the activities of ITAC. We believe that an informed public will become an engaged public, with beneficial results.
We are a nation that is grotesquely over-taxed. According to yesterday's National Post, even the federal finance department concedes that
We live in a country that purports to be self-governing. Accordingly, our collective fate rests upon the extent and caliber of citizen participation in the processes of their own government. Nowhere is that more evident than in local government. In recent times, however, growing numbers of Canadians are becoming disengaged from their civic duty. This is a recipe for bureaucratic absolutism and, ultimately, for some form of totalitarianism.
David O. Marley
Tel. 604-926-8994 / Fax 604-926-8950