Dear Mr. Michaud;
Re: Hospital Levy
I am writing in regards to the hospital tax Levy proposed in your recent letter distributed throughout the community. I have taken the time to discuss this with the members within your office and Winston Bailey from the city council.
From what I understand the levy itself has not been decided upon but for arguments sake I'm going to be using a $200 levy as a general point of reference. The way Mr. Bailey had explained this to me it was going to be a $200 levy placed on the property taxes that would be held in trust for the Weyburn and District Hospital Foundation. I understand the need for a new hospital and I appreciate the effort the city has been putting forward, towards meeting the goal of the hospital foundation. I don't understand why the homeowners of Weyburn are being penalized for owning a home. If we stop and look at the very large picture involved with this process there are a number of other options available to the city that would distribute this levy much more evenly amongst the citizens of Weyburn.
I would like to suggest tacking a $10 or $12 levy on the water bill each month. I believe this would distribute the needed cash for the hospital foundation to others within the community that do not own property but utilize the water service. There are a large number of apartment blocks that are consider as one door rather than eight, ten, twelve or more doors in the apartment block all of which contain families that would utilize the hospital itself. Weyburn housing, as an example has an estimated 273 units within the community and because it's considered commercial property the tax Levy would not be appropriate for them but all of which have water bills that are paid on a monthly basis.
Utilizing the water service would distribute the levy more evenly throughout the community and I believe there are more water bills going out each month than there are homeowners and I feel that $10 or $12 per month is easier to budget than a large bill at the end of each year. I believe if you do the calculations $10 per month per water bill will equal or exceed the amounts allocated on your 15 year budget and may reduce the number of years this levy will have to be utilized.
The commercial properties are not being charged the Levy and according to Mr. Bailey it will be the hospital foundation responsibility to seek corporate donations from the commercial property owners. This would alleviate the idea of "double dipping" according to Mr. Bailey. Whereas with a $10/$12 levy on the monthly water bills would help distribute a little more evenly amongst commercial and privately owned homes.
I realize better than most what an additional $200 will mean on property taxes and I believe if we are going to do this properly we need to distribute the costs more fairly to everyone and not just the home owner. From what Mr. Bailey suggested all of the surrounding RMs have made commitments to pledge but I do believe that distributing it a little more evenly within the community will make it easier to sell and may provide you with the allocated funds more readily.
Fred Sandeski, Executive Director
On behalf of the Board of Directors
Community Low Income Center