Myth #1: Increased Density means Lower Taxes

It is a myth that Increased Density lowers taxes. It does not.
Read why Increased Density actually increases your taxes below!

White Rock has twice the density of Surrey, yet our taxes are 50% higher. We have compared our taxes to other similar sized cities in BC in the chart, and we are THE highest by a large margin. Why?

Let’s look at why Densification increases Taxes.

It costs the city the same amount whether a person lives in a 400sqft apartment or a $5 Million dollar home. The cost of city services, policing, fire, garbage collection, and other city services are all about the same on average.

But you hear that the Towers bring in millions of Dollars in Tax Revenue!
Isn’t that good?

It sounds good until you look at the numbers in more detail!

Do people in high density housing actually pay their share?

For starters, when a developer builds a tower. White Rock has been known to offer them three years of tax exemption. That means regular tax payers like you and other residents are subsidizing the big developers!

It may be even worse! The White Rock Rate Payer’s association claimed that the city sold Bosa the land way below fair market value, and then White Rock gave them a $3.5M low interest mortgage as well. The Rate Payer’s Association had planned to sue the city to stop the sale of the land, but could not afford the court costs. Thousands of residents signed petitions opposing these towers, but White Rock City Hall approved the towers over these objections and the towers were built anyway. If what the Rate Payer’s Association said is true, then residents of White Rock are not saving money with towers, but instead residents are subsidizing developers in order to have the towers built. This would explain why developers are so eager to support pro-development Candidates! Let’s hope the Rate Payer’s Association was wrong!

With City Hall holding so many closed-door meetings about developments, how can we tell that this does not happen with every new tower being built in this city? Ouch.

Next, let’s look at what a typical Bosa resident pays in taxes versus a typical home owner. We looked up the tax records for a number of apartments of various sizes. The average taxes paid by a household in Bosa is $2,664 per household.

How does this compare to other residents? What does the AVERAGE household pay in taxes each year in White Rock? On average, White Rock residents pay $3,700 per household.

So Bosa residents pay about $1036 less taxes on average but benefit the same amount from city services. So who pays the difference? The average White Rock resident.

White Rock residents are subsidizing High Rise Towers, not benefitting by them.
So who benefits?
The developers who build towers, and the politicians whose campaign they pay for.

What can we do about it?
The lesson here is that towers do not help pay their way. We have to elect leaders who realize that the economics need to make sense. One solution, if we insist that we want towers, is that the Condo only pays for itself if the taxes of each Condo exceeds the average house listing price in the City. Only then would the taxes paid by Condo owners be supportive of our tax base. The Late Councillor Larry Robinson, a real-estate agent himself, often noted in council that we need to push for larger condo units to attract high end buyers. Then at least the economics make sense. But this does not help the typical family afford a single family home. It hurts. Is that what we want for a long term future? A city of glass towers filled with the ultra rich? I do not think so.

Is there an alternative for lower taxes and affordable housing?
Yes, there are many places in the world where a family can own their own single family home on their own lot. There is also lots of research that tells us that Canada, and yes even White Rock, can get there. The first step is to elect good leaders with intelligence and the willingness to listen to good ideas. Together with developers, businesses, and residents we can solve this. The next step is to put a stop to this madness called Densification. It does not work and this has been known since the 1970’s with the Harlem Tower Projects.

Mayor Wayne Baldwin likes to quote Former City Planner Larry Beasley who talks about city centers needing 10,000 people for a vibrant community. However, that was over ten years ago. More recently Larry Beasley has recognized that there are significant downfalls including that this pushes out existing residents who can no longer afford to live in their own communities. Is that what we want?

Are the developer’s to blame? No, it’s their job to look for the best deal possible.
White Rock City Council is to blame. They listen to developers and ignore concerns raised by residents.
That’s not right!

High Density is not the only reason that your taxes are too high!
Increased Density does not reduce taxes in this town, but that alone would not mean higher taxes if our tax dollars were managed wisely. The bigger reason that taxes are too high is because White Rick spends too much money on things that provides residents with no added benefit.

Here are recent examples of how City Hall is wasting your money!
– $528k paid out to replace perfectly good windows in City Hall and Library
– $273k to replace existing parking meters with new parking meters
– $100k paid to renovate council chambers for a move that never happened
– $360k paid to renovate current council chambers and city hall
– Senior Staff paid 26% more than similar jobs in larger cities like Victoria
– Councillors gave themselves 11% pay raises starting in 2015
– The Mayor gets a 32% raise starting in 2014
– Offering developers incentives to build here including three years of tax relief!
– Giving EPCOR $12 Million Windfall when EPCOR Land Rezoned
– The City Councillors receive $400 for each meeting attended

Years of Baldwin Densification Has Increased Our Taxes

Ask a lot of questions of your candidates before you vote!
Do the candidates have intelligent solutions? Do the understand the economics?
Or do they simply want power to help the big developer’s get rich?

You decide, then Vote on November 15th. Your vote matters!

Meet with Candidates: David Bradshaw

It looks like there will be at least two candidates for the Mayor’s chair this year. That’s excellent news!

David Bradshaw entered the race this week for the Mayor’s chair. David decided to run because of how the City has allowed developers to run over the rights of Property Owners and virtually ignore the OCP and Bylaws. You may recall that David was recently in the Peace Arch Times complaining about how the City allowed developers to build over the OCP height restrictions, and that they were given specific permission by Mayor Wayne Baldwin himself. No one should be ignoring the OCP, especially the Mayor! You can read more about it here. Good luck David!

Here is what happened to David when the Mayor signed off to allow Tatla to exceed the agreed building height in front of David’s building:

“The buiding looked too high to me,” Bradshaw said as he observed work taking place just a few metres from his bedroom window. He said he was later advised – after pressing the mayor and chief building official for answers – “that the beam’s height was allowed to jumped by more than two feet from the 51.25-foot maximum that residents heard at the public hearing to 53.48 feet.”

“Just a few weeks later, the mayor signs off on 53.48 feet,” Bradshaw said. “How does that happen? There’s a whole series of exceptional allowances for this project and we can’t get any reasonable explanation.”

Personally, I had my own Mayor papers filled in and was ready to submit my own papers to run for Mayor this afternoon if no one else signed up first. We cannot let Mr. Baldwin continue to believe that we agree with his bullying and complete disregard the OCP and his contempt for citizens and their need for a healthy community governed by an OCP that limits excessive growth and protects our community and our property values.

Mayor Wayne “I am the Boss” Baldwin needs to go in my opinion. We need a Mayor who will listen to everybody including residents, developers, and business to come up with solutions that benefit the entire community, not just greedy developers and the politicians that they support.

For a list of the Candidates, click here.

Bad Governments are elected by Good People who DO NOT vote!

Be one of the good ones! Vote this year and bring some friends!

Remember what Mayor Baldwin told residents during the contested White Rock Muffler Public Hearing back in 2013?

He told residents to be quiet because he was the boss and he was running the meeting. Then he said, “If you don’t like it, there’s an election coming up on November 15th 2014. You can have your say then.”
White Rock Muffler Public Hearing

Well Mr. Baldwin, Winter is Coming. And so is November 15th.
It’s time for residents to have OUR say!

It only takes 2500 votes to win the Election in White Rock.
Mayor Wayne, I am the Boss, Baldwin wants you to think you cannot change City Hall. He is wrong. Together, we can!

Read about the White Rock Muffler Site Public Hearing in the Peace Arch News here.

Spread the word and get at least one friend who wants sustainable growth without high density to FOLLOW this page too. In a few weeks, we will be posting the voting record of each of the candidates along with a summary of which Candidates accept money from greedy developers.

Our Facebook page has 476 Likes. If everyone of you vote for Change, and if we each get 4 friends to vote for Change as well, we can send Mr.Baldwin and his Pro-High-Density slate away and stop them from turning our City by the Sea into another Whalley or Newton. Nobody wants that! That’s bad for business and its bad for residents.

Mayor Baldwin says that Towers are coming “whether people like it or not”.
Sorry to disagree Mr. Baldwin, but they are coming only if you get re-elected. You and your council refuse to listen to residents and refuse to abide by the OCP as required by law. We need leaders, not bullies.
White Rock Excessive Development Upsets Residents

Remember to vote this November 15th for change.
Together, we can fix City Hall this November.

Bad Politicians get Elected by Good People Who Do Not Vote

Remember that High Density Towers only helps Developers and the Politicians they support!
Densification increases taxes and crime and congestion on our roads. Our schools are already over-crowded and wait-times in the Emergency room are way too long as it is. By ignoring the OCP, Mr. Baldwin puts the value of our homes at risk. Do not be fooled by hype. Densification makes affording a single family home impossible and raises the cost of homes for new home buyers. It does not help with affordability. Look at the data. Years of Densification have increased our taxes, not lower them.

Mayor Baldwin promised action on the Trains as well. All we got were fences, midnight train horns, coal dust, and broken promises. I asked Mayor Baldwin why they could not at least restore the under-the-track tunnels to provide safe access to the beach. They used to be there but were removed to add a couple of parking spots. Check out what he said here. His answer was ridiculous, insulted the intelligence of everyone in that room, and showed a complete ignorance of basic science.

Lots of Promises about Trains, but all we get are fences.

Lots of Promises about Trains, but all we got were fences!

Remember the proposed South Surrey Casino that BCLC tried to force on us last year? Research tells us that people who live within 10 kms of a Casino are the most impacted by the adverse affects of gambling, and Seniors who visit Casinos are the most vulnerable to gambling addiction. Crime rates for Burglary and Assaults double within 5 years of a Casino being built in areas around a Casino. We (at NoCasinoSurrey) fought this hard (I personally donated 350 hours of my time to help) and finally won thanks to Mayor Watts and Surrey City Council and the support of the community. But we had NO help at all from White Rock City Council. You can see the details here and read the full report by here.

What did Mayor Baldwin do about White Rock being targeted for a Casino?
Nothing! He said that it did not affect White Rock.
The facts are that residents within 8 kms of a Casino, and especially seniors, are at highest risk of getting a gambling addition or becoming a victim of a crime! White Rock city center would have been less than 3 kms from the Casino. It would have affected White Rock even more than Surrey. But White Rock ignored the issue while Surrey agreed that the new Casino was a bad idea.

What kind of Mayor ignores the concerns of local residents like this?
A Mayor should represent the people, not special interest groups!

White Rock needs change now!
We do not need 4 more years of Mr. Wayne “I am the Boss” Baldwin

Vote for Change on November 15th!