Friday, February 03, 2012

Spend your money where it is earned

A friend of mine just posted a comment about how SJ could get a big boost if more people consciously chose to spend money within the city, and how he thinks weekly trips to Calais are ridiculous. This coming from a person who chooses to live outside the city boundaries, pays significantly less in taxes, and yet comes into the city to work and use our roads, waterways, police and fire coverage, etc. I think his statement was very hypocritical, but not being a good debater, I am not prepared to engage him in conversation on it.

I have the right to spend money where I get good service. If I weren't verbally abused at Canadian Tire for trying to use a coupon to buy batteries, maybe I'd shop there more often. Why should I go to the local telecomm store, spend $30 on a car charger for a cell phone, and have to wait in line at a store with TVs blaring and a display phone going off in my ear, while not being able to understand the cashier who is mumbling at the desk in a feeble attempt at communicating with me? No thanks. I'll buy it for $5 on Amazon and pick it up in Calais.

This week, I rewarded a local store with my business because they treated me well. They had the lowest price, did not overcharge me with delivery fees, and had the item in stock and would be delivered in two days. I probably could have gotten it sooner if I was able to pick it up myself. I'm happy to give that company my money because they earned it. Compared this to the big-box chains who only had display models and nothing in stock, would take 10-14 days for ordering and delivery, and didn't seem to know much about their product or even care.

Everyone has the right to spend their hard-earned dollar wherever they choose. Buying milk in Calais isn't what's breaking SJ's bank. It's the people who escape the taxes who are. If the outlying community residents all had to pay into SJ's tax system, think of how much lower it could be, how many more services we could provide, and possibly how much better a shape we'd be in. But the Valley residents never want to admit this. They choose to live outside the city and then complain that the city sucks, but never do anything concrete to help it. I'm tired of hearing you complain. If you care about SJ, then move back within the boundary and help us recover by paying your share.


Scum said...

Something else that would help is if the people we have stupidly elected to lead the city would take the first step in the 12 step program and admit the city has a problem.

Adding more infrastructure to a system that can't currently maintain what exists is not the way to save money in budgets. Council was put in a vise and had to pass a budget with a tonne of cuts to services.

It sucks for us residents, but at least they've finally done something to begin addressing the issue of spending more than is coming in.

I mean, I don't get to spend money endlessly until I go bankrupt without some pretty serious consequences. I hope the city starts to realize that themselves and make some smarter decisions.

John said...

While I agree with what Scum says, the flip side is that you can't make money without spending money.

The city needs to lure people back in, so that the tax base grows. Some of the ways to do that are to lower taxes, give tax incentives, and to advertise for and bring in new business. All of these spend money the city doesn't necessarily have now, but can make an impact on getting people/companies here to spend money.

It's a tightrope, and one I don't want to walk. At least the council is doing /something/ toward addressing the needs of the city.

liz said...

The result is tough, and we are starting to deal with it, which is great. What I object to was the length of time it took to figure it out, and the closed-door sessions, and the newspaper trying to make a big deal out of it. We all knew the budget deadline was coming. If it was going to be that hard of a decision, why didn't they get started on the serious discussions much earlier? Do deadlines not mean anything anymore?

Overall I applaud their decision to make a positive step forward, but I'm still voting all non-incumbents in this spring's election. If I was a councilor going for re-election, I'd make a point of not putting the word "Re-elect" on my campaign signs.

I also think we need to stop guarding old buildings in the city. I'm all for protecting heritage buildings, but there are plenty of crap houses sitting on nice plots of land. Tear them down, build the nicer homes that attract people to the Valley, and maybe we'll stop a few people from leaving the city. If I wanted to move right now and stay in SJ, I don't have many choices of land or of an existing house that is newer/larger/nicer/whatever than what I currently have. Every day I walk by a couple of crap houses near work that are in a great location, but nobody wants to buy them. Knock them down, sell the land, build something that people want. I know there are problems with that scenario, such as who pays for the demolition and clean-up, and homeowners losing value they put into the property. But it's a nice pipe dream.