Citizens Stand Up Against Abbotsford Taxpayer Funding of the YMCA Project
The City of Abbotsford has committed, through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to fund 50% of the construction of a new YMCA recreation facility. A local Citizens Group strongly objects to any and all assistance for this business. On January 21st at 3pm, the Group will speak, as a Delegation, to Abbotsford City Council to voice their objections. Those objections include:
- The City of Abbotsford has committed $17,500,000.00; however there is no actual budget, no business or construction plan and no limit on the overall costs.
- The Community Charter clearly states that Municipal Governments may not give tax dollars to anyone for this purpose. There is no exception for charities.
- The City of Abbotsford will own no part of the facility nor receive any revenue from it.
- The project’s proposed facilities, and programs are already well provided for in Abbotsford.
- Tax Payers will pay for half of the start-up costs (land, building & off-sites), receive no property tax, and will fund both of the Provincial and Federal Tax subsidies that this facility will additionally receive. This would allow the project to unfairly compete with local businesses that are now providing similar services. (Which is why this is not allowed in the Community Charter)
- Finally, the City of Abbotsford does not have this money. They are “borrowing” the money from capital reserves, which have been previously allocated for other uses. It will result in a Property Tax increase without a referendum. We need that money for roads, infrastructure, and policing, firefighting and economic development to support tax-paying businesses that invested their own dollars to come to our city.
This Citizens Group will outline its objections, including a PowerPoint based statistical presentation, along with the relevant excerpts from the Community Charter outlining the legality of the proposed monetary assistance for the project.
Since the Community Charter does not allow the City to give tax dollars away for this purpose, the Citizens Group views the MoU as invalid and we will request the City of Abbotsford abandon the YMCA Project until a date when it can afford it. Should a Motion of that nature fail to be forthcoming from City Council, the Citizens Group will request that the funding issue be put to a Referendum vote and appear on the ballot of the next Municipal Election so that Abbotsford Taxpayers can decide if they want their money spent this way.
If you have questions about this Press Release, the Citizens Group or its presentation to Council, please contact:
Fred Thiessen at email@example.com