LETHBRIDGE: City council says the writing is on the wall when it comes to taxation rates - or rather in the survey. In the results of an Ipsos Reid poll released to the public Monday, 70 per cent of 800 residents interviewed by phone this spring said they believed they were getting good value for their taxes. When comparing the number to other cities, such a percentage seems high. For example, Calgary's percentage of tax value satisfaction apparently ranks in the 50's. But when comparing the numbers to other local polls, these results don't show as well. The number of people who believe they're getting good value for their taxes is down 15 per cent from 2005, when 85 per cent of respondents said they were satisfied.
Mayor Raijko Dodic says the numbers aren't necessarily a surprise, considering the economic climate. "Many people don't have an appetite for a tax increase," said Dodic. "The question then becomes does council have an appetite for service decreases if they want to tie the two together." High taxation rates were listed as the number two reason why 14 per cent of respondents said quality of life had worsened in the city during the last two years. The issue was also listed as the number one factor about which respondents wanted to receive more information from city officials.
Aside from concerns like these, the strategic initiatives coordinator, Graeme Woods, called the results a "good news story," saying the majority of the numbers demonstrate progress and improvement. For example, a full 98 per cent of respondents rated quality of life in Lethbridge as "good," while 94 per cent said they were satisfied with City services and programs. "What this survey does is tell us that for the most part, citizens are happy with the direction of the City," said Dodic. "However, they've also told us they want certain changes, certain improvements. So we'll see where taxes go." Dodic says he'll keep the survey results in mind when it comes to budget deliberations this fall.
survey results can be viewed at:
Photo by Country 95 News: Aldermen follow the survey results presentation at city hall Monday.