Cost overruns keep taxes high
Why do so many municipal projects have cost overruns? Cambridge council unanimously approved the Preston Arena cost overrun where the original estimate was $27.35 million and the cost overrun was $5.76 million. Now the taxpayer is being dinged for $33.11 million. This kind of cost overrun has been going on for so long that taxpayers and councillors alike accept it as the norm. But in the real world, this is absolutely not the norm. It must stop!
Is it sheer incompetence? Is it a tactic used by municipal planners and bureaucrats to get large projects they endorse approved — estimating low to get approval, and then having the cost run over? Who in government is responsible for addressing these gross errors in judgment?
Companies that underestimate costs over and over go out of business. But municipal governments that do the same are not held accountable — they just jack up property taxes to cover the difference. It’s time we demanded more accountability. The Property Taxpayers Alliance at propertytaxpayer.ca advocates for effective and efficient use of property tax dollars.
Rande Keffer, Cambridge
Toronto Star Newspapers Limited