Sir: The Canadian Federation of Independent Business recently rated Chatham-Kent 119 out of 125 communities in terms of entrepreneurship. Just a few weeks ago, I wrote there is no economic growth.
If there was, then why the tax increase?
Stuart McFadden, Chatham-Kent’s director of the economic development department, hasn’t the foggiest when stating in another publication, “We’ve reallocated people to focus on entrepreneurism, so I guess maybe if that was the perception of the day, then it makes it look like the changes that we’ve made were the right changes to make.”
Hold on a minute. This is not the perception of the day. We didn’t lose 8,000 residents in a day. This has been decades in the making and we, the public, all know it. So the changes he made, past or present, make no difference in the decline while this “focus on entrepreneurism” is baffling. What else is there to focus on?
I can tell you what to focus on. No need for Mr. McFadden’s “request to meet with someone from CFIB.” Just read the report. It’s taxes! Taxes and prohibitive policies have been the hurdles. Growing government costs reduce GDP.
Our real estate association has been signalling the tax issue for years. When someone in Toronto sells their house for a million or two and says no to C-K because the taxes are too high, isn’t that a clue?
Businesses need a stable governing body that isn’t going to raise taxes every time they have a council meeting. Because businesses have budgets. They can’t just wave the revenue wand and money comes flying through the mail slot.
McFadden also stated reallocating someone to business expansion and retention. It seems clear the focus is on retention since so many have left. Just how do you stop someone from going broke?
Another blow to the budget is they hired another as a small business consultant. I promise you the business consultants needed do not come for free.
Your shuffling is not convincing, sir. You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.
It is disheartening to me how the number of employees and costs at the city rise as our economy declines. A two-per-cent reduction in staff levels or wages would have equalled a zero tax increase. When businesses face challenges, they either find more customers or reduce costs. It’s time this city reduced costs.