Inflation is certainly a big deal these days. But whoever heard about a commodity being subjected to a 10,000% increase overnight!
Check out Richmond Hill, Ont., in which the new rate structure for the stormwater management fees jumped by 10,000% on April 1. And sadly, this was not an April Fool’s Day joke.
We visited one of the few remaining farms left in Richmond Hill. And the owners, already under various other economic pressures, will see the stormwater management fees go from $147. 90 last fiscal year to a whopping $14,904.84 for the fiscal year to come. How can this be?
Says farmer Paul Doner: “Numerous landowners in Richmond Hill are seeing these huge increases in fees, and the worst part is that we receive no stormwater management service. In my case, the city actually dumps stormwater onto our property with no compensation paid to us and is turning around and billing us for a service that we have to provide.”
Even residential landowners have seen a significant increase in their stormwater management fees. A friend of Doner, who owns a residential house in Richmond Hill, was slapped with a 46% increase in his bill.
According to 2021 year-end results, the stormwater fund saw a surplus of more than $131,000. So, what’s behind this increase? One rumour is that Mayor David West wants to raise money to fight climate change, and this is one way of raising the millions he covets. (Of note: Mayor West also supports the banning of single-use eating utensils such as plastic knives, forks, and spoons – even though we have caught him in the past using these items, not to mention polystyrene bowls for his soup. Yet again, one law for me, one law for thee…)
We reached out to Mayor West but he declined to respond.
Bottom line: farmers are already inexplicably under attack via other political initiatives. They certainly don’t need to be subject to this sort of gouging. Indeed, this egregious decision must be reversed – as soon as possible.