Skip to content

LETTER: Inflation is an insidious reality

Rate may be declining now, but the price of everything is stuck at a new high and is not likely to drop, says reader

PelhamToday received the following letter looking at how deeply inflation impacts the taxpayer.

The rate of inflation has declined from 8-9 per cent in 2022 to around 3.1 per cent in October this year. Unfortunately, the price of everything is now stuck at the new amount and isn't likely to go down, short of a nasty recession, or worse.

To bring down inflation the Bank of Canada raised interest rates quite a lot. Caught in this rise in rates were mortgages, home equity loans, credit cards and car loans.

Pelham is a small town that has seen much growth, especially among young families. Many of these families are looking down the barrel of mortgage rate increases that may double their monthly mortgage costs. Car loans are at 8-10 per cent for people who need a vehicle to commute, transport their families to sporting events and the like. People on fixed incomes are being faced with real life decisions about paying for heating or food or taxes.

The latest inflation numbers from Statistics Canada outlined that municipal taxes have risen nationally at a rate of 4.9 per cent as of October, up from 3.6 per cent a year ago. I don't know the rate for Niagara, but judging from the various numbers floating about, it looks like it will be higher than the national average. So far: water 7.9, police 7.1 and transportation 7.8. The numbers look ominous. There are other tax rates yet to be released. Which brings me to address on-demand transit and its costs to Pelham.

In 2023 Pelham was billed $1,118,510 for a projected 5,600 hours of on-demand transit usage, or, $199.73 per hour assuming the town is billed by the hour.

Apparently 70 per cent of those ride were single usage. A quick, albeit rudimentary comparison to NOTL Taxi showed rates of $75.00 per hour for four persons. They're private and making a profit. For 2024 Pelham will be billed $952,105, a 14.9 per cent decrease.

If this service is billed by the hour, which it appears to be, then Pelham has decreased its usage of on-demand transit by almost 15 per cent. Faced with the immediate realities young families and people on fixed incomes are facing, it is imperative that municipal politicians and the administrative class that works for us realize that the decisions they make will have a real impact on the immediate economic, and by extension, emotional health of the taxpayers.

Jim Pitt