Friday, May 20, 2011

The Shell Game

This will be a simple, yet I think realistic post, on the CRL shell game the City of Edmonton is trying to sell you on for the new downtown arena. This is the basic scoop on what the CRL does. A "zone" is created, which is just an area on a map that says "this is the area we are going to deal with". The idea is that any tax increases from those who are currently IN that area, would go towards the CRL, and any NEW business's that move into the area, 100% of their taxes go towards the CRL.

Remember, city taxes include the provincial educational component, and that component as well ALSO goes towards the CRL. The Alberta Government says that education will be funded, and they will no longer get that education component from the CRL zone, which means ALL other Alberta taxpayers will get increases to cover the amount required.

Existing places in the zone, their increases from "before and after" will go the the CRL. New places, all of their taxes go to the CRL. Those taxes are supposed to pay for the services provided in that area and they no longer will, which means that ALL of the residents in Edmonton will have to pay additional tax dollars to make up for the loss of income that should have been directed towards providing those services they get.

This isn't free money folks. Everyone will have to pay more, and all of that revenue income from this new complex goes into Katz's pocket. I pity the folks and seniors on a fixed income, who barely survive now. The extra taxes will force some of those out of their homes, because they can no longer afford to pay the ever increasing amounts. People renting in the area will also be faced with higher rents because the landlord will pass the tax increases along.

Not only will the residents of the City have to pay, they have to pay "twice" to cover the loss. And the rest of the province will also have to pay more, to cover the lost revenue from the education tax. I have to wonder how any of this could be considered "good".

One other thing you should ponder on. Edmonton currently has, I believe, two existing CRL applications in effect for the Quarters and Fort Road area. A lot of that work has already been done and paid for. The province has yet to approve either of these. I can't speak about the Quarters, but I live a few blocks away from the Fort Road area. The design is a disaster, and no one has stepped up to actually build anything yet. What happens if the province says "no"? Well, that's another $125 million (at the least) that also comes from your pocket, into Katz's pocket.

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