As we enter 2024 in Niagara-on-the-Lake, add Upper Canada Lodge to our growing list of lost infrastructure: the high school, the hospital, Parliament Oak, our X-ray facility and so on.
Yet in spite of all this, we are once again facing another tax increase.
What are we paying for? Certainly not improved roads and side streets, where one almost requires a back and neck brace driving into town and perhaps a wheel alignment to boot.
Some might blame the bloated, inefficient, non-decision making town staff. Others, and the most probable scenario, might cite the desire to support our top priority, “overtourism.”
Synonymous with this priority is the sheer number of entities, year-over-year, pandering for handouts from the overburdened, taxpayers’ purse.
Most egregious of these, and usually first in line, is our Chamber of Commerce.
It is not the general practice elsewhere to fund a Chamber of Commerce with municipal tax dollars. This annual practice in NOTL should stop immediately.
Perhaps more of our local merchants, who benefit from the tourist industry, should be members and support the chamber.
Every year, taxpayers continue to get exploited. I would suggest that if NOTL took a one-year hiatus and not spent a dime on marketing, the tourists still would come.