The municipal election is just around the corner. In Maple Ridge in particular, the issue of suburban sprawl has surfaced again as one of the key election issues. From a cycling point of view, far-flung, leapfrogging developments by definition makes cycling more difficult and impractical except for the super fit.
What most taxpayers are not aware of is that there is a cost of suburban sprawl which hits your wallet directly
. That is, the revenues received by the city from the developers and the incremental property tax revenue from new home owners do not cover the total cost of building out, maintaining and eventually replacing the ageing infrastructure. As a result, existing taxpayers end up paying for the shortfalls. The 1% property tax increase since 2009 – cumulative and year after year – is a direct result of the city trying to cover at least part of the shortfalls.
I have done some research and written on the topic and have put together a questionnaire asking all mayoral and council candidates to state their level of agreement with the issue as stated and what specific actions, if any, they plan on taking if elected.
You can get more background information on this topic, the questionnaire and responses from the candidates by following the links below.
And don’t forget to vote on Nov 15!
Links to the subject:
The Impact of Suburban Sprawl to Municipal Budgets
Suburban Sprawl Adds Salt to Maple Ridge’s Infrastructure Deficit Wounds
For every ‘burb built, Maple Ridge pays
(Maple Ridge News)
Suburban sprawl summary slide deck
Disclaimer: HUB is not endorsing any particular candidates in this election. I am personally not affiliated with or organizing on behalf of any candidate.