Funding crime unit is worth tax hike

By: Wheel staff

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Dec 04, 2013 10:13 am

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Okotoks homeowners are once again facing a property tax hike, but it is an increase to benefit the community.

When town council meets to consider Okotoksí 2014 operating budget on Monday afternoon, they will vote on a proposed 3.8 per cent tax increase.

No one likes to hear their tax bill is going up, but there also isnít much appetite for cuts in municipal services and programs.

In fact, if approved this budget could mean the return of a successful program eliminated by the previous council.

One of the reasons for the 3.8 per cent increase in the proposed budget is the inclusion of $103,000 in funding to resurrect the successful RCMP Crime Reduction Unit (CRU).

The funds will cover the cost of one additional RCMP officer and the CRU could be back up and running once the new officer starts on April 1.

While in existence the unit proved its value as it played a vital role in cracking down on drug trade in the community. In addition, the officers assigned to the CRU targeted prolific, repeat offenders in the community.

Itís always difficult to keep tax increases to a minimum, while continuing to offer the services residents have come to expect, but in this case funding the CRU is a wise use of taxpayer dollars.


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