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If the government needs to tax something new, I suggest it be a tax on eye rolling and whispering in public. – Robert J. Braathe

Mission Statement: Grumpy Taxpayers of Greater Victoria Society is a non-profit, non partisan, citizen’s advocacy group dedicated to lower taxes, less waste and more accountable municipal government.

Our Vision:

To act as a collective voice of taxpayers in Greater Victoria.

To advocate municipal government lower taxes and reduce waste.

To hold municipal government more accountable for their decisions.

To operate strictly in a non-partisan and unaffiliated fashion.

To provide and support constructive alternatives and suggestions for municipalities.

To ensure the privacy of members and supporters is respected.

To communicate with members and supporters on taxation matters of common interest.

Our Core Values: Participatory, inclusive, engaging, forward-thinking, respectful, results oriented, goal driven, transparent and accountable.

Plus, frugal, constructive, positive, perseverance, and sense of humour.

Governance: As a non-profit society we are governed by the rules and regulations of the Society Act of BC. Our bylaws prohibit any director from holding membership in any BC or Canadian political party.

Membership: Any Victoria taxpayer committed to the GTGV’s mission is welcome to join and receive periodic e-letter bulletins. We urge supporters to dig deep and financially donate to our cause. Donations are not tax deductible to non-profits.

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“Almost” the best place on earth

It’s my belief that Greater Victoria is almost “The Best Place on Earth,” from amazing sunrises to stunning sunsets, from a foodie paradise to wine country, from a gorgeous inner harbour to maybe spotting an orca in the wild.

That a small capital region of only 375,000 people is governed by 13 municipalities and 91 mayors and councillors, multiple police forces and fire departments, along with a bevy of directors at the Capital Regional District – also takes your breath away.

Taken together the annual budgets of our 13 local governments amount to an annual mega-project. Annual taxes and charges for all property classes is almost $750-million in 2015, according to the B.C. Local Government Department. The lions share is spent by Victoria ($220-million) and Saanich ($270-million).

One of many troubling issues is that none of the fractured jurisdictions, separately or together, seem to have the capacity or ability to manage large infrastructure projects: Hard-working taxpayers will be hit by a huge cost overrun and two year delay on the $100-million Blue Bridge replacement. Then there’s the flushing sound of taxpayer’s cash to upgrade a $765-million sewer system. Is this any way to govern a region?

It’s rare that things change unless we think differently and are prepared to challenge the status quo.

Taxes certainly are the price for civilization, but it’s not too much for some respect and restraint on behalf of the taxpayer. What seems to be lacking in many of the municipalities is a culture of frugality, making do, or even using duct tape. Tax rates do not continuously have to be excessive when inflation is running at about two per cent.

Many of the supporters of Grumpy Taxpayers are elders who have been around the block a few times, and have paid taxes for a quarter or even a half century. They have family or friends who have left Greater Victoria because it’s unaffordable. So volunteering is an opportunity to give something back to the community, while making sure their fixed retirement income lasts.

We are well aware of the importance of business in creating wealth and prosperity, as opposed to taxing-and-spending-and-wasting. We view the business community as an integral, critical part of Greater Victoria worthy of support and nurturing.

It’s time for Grumpy Taxpayers of Greater Victoria, a non-profit, unaffiliated, non-partisan, citizen’s advocacy group dedicated to lower taxes, less waste, and more accountable municipal government.

We’ve earned the right to be grumpy, but also constructive. We know with perseverance you can bring change at city hall, then we can be “The Best Place on Earth.”  (Jan. 2016)

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