Fiscal responsibility

I started working when I was 15 years old to help with my family’s finances. We were always conscious of our financial situation and lived within our means. Financial responsibility guided me through every milestone from moving out to now starting to plan for a family of my own. It will continue guiding me as your city councillor.

City money is your money. Respecting that, my fiscal platform focuses on balancing cost-effectiveness with necessity. It ensures our money is used properly and transparently, so you know how and where your money is used and can be proud of the investments we make together for our community’s future.

Property taxes and spending

Responsibility goes both ways. We must be responsible with our spending, but also with our revenue sources.

Lower taxes and tax freezes are easy promises, but difficult to keep without confronting the price of that promise later on. What I can promise are reasonable property tax rates and improving the cost-effectiveness and transparency of city spending. Taxpayers are not an endless revenue source and your property taxes are not a blank cheque for the city.

With the continued rise in the cost of living, you’d want to know the city is being as responsible with your money as you are. I know I would.

Some neighbours have asked how the increase in real estate prices will affect their property tax rates. The short answer is they won’t. The city simply adjusts the base rate downwards so it continues collecting the same revenue, unless you have upgrades that increases the value of your house compared to similar houses (eg. pool, large deck, extensions) since your previous MPAC assessment.

Since 2021, residents in Hearts Desire, Rideau Glen, and Winding Way have been unfairly paying the urban transit area levy on their property taxes despite not receiving the service they pay for. In the 2024 budget, I will revert the areas to the rural transit levy or provide the service they are paying for.

A city vehicle about to pass a parked city vehicle in a parking lot.

Procurement review

Every city project and asset purchase is an investment in its people. We should take pride in them, but it’s difficult when recent large city-building opportunities have faced cost overruns and quality concerns. Working with city staff and other councillors, I will initiate a review of how we award contracts for projects and asset purchases so what we pay for is the best in value, beauty, function, and durability.

Solutions may include bigger upfront investments instead of spending more for repairs or replacement earlier than expected later on, investing more in preventative measures, options to reduce staff overtime, and climate change and extreme weather resiliency projects for city infrastructure and assets.

Simply put, smart procurement and responsible spending saves money long term, money which can be redirected to debt servicing, adding to reserves, and other projects.

Storefronts of some local businesses at a strip mall in Barrhaven.

Supporting our small businesses

Small business owners often use personal finances and their families’ livelihoods as liability to contribute to our city’s economy. Barrhaven has a unique community of dependable small businesses that rely on the energy, dedication, and kindness of neighbours to operate and support them. They are partners in our community, a part of our fabric just as we are a part of theirs, and the foundation of our local economy.

The last two and a half years have been challenging for our small businesses. As your councillor, I will work with the Barrhaven BIA to extend support and advocacy for our small businesses long beyond the pandemic so they remain an integral part of our community.

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