Where is the prosperity?

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This letter is in response to Bill Racine’s letter, titled “High taxes do not bring prosperity,” in the October 23 issue. Yes, higher taxes do not bring prosperity.  However, I am confused by conflicting statements. If Otter Lake is one of the biggest municipalities (assessed value) should it not also collect a large amount of tax revenue?

This letter is in response to Bill Racine’s letter, titled “High taxes do not bring prosperity,” in the October 23 issue. Yes, higher taxes do not bring prosperity.  However, I am confused by conflicting statements. If Otter Lake is one of the biggest municipalities (assessed value) should it not also collect a large amount of tax revenue? If Otter Lake is expanding, should it not require an expanding budget to ensure equal access to services?
Otter Lake has one of the lowest tax rates in the Pontiac, and is one of the fastest growing, prosperous municipalities. Where is this growth and prosperity, you ask? In the numerous lakefront developments; large, well built second homes are being or have recently been constructed for our new seasonal residents. Perhaps some of these people have even bought older cottages, and invested tens of thousands of dollars renovating an old dream. This building  renaissance has added very significantly to the total tax dollars we take in. It has even given one resident of Otter Lake the idea to build a large modern Renovation Centre. Another resident built a large garage for his expanding excavation/septic pumping business, and yet another resident is in the process of creating additional    services to his beautiful dog sledding adventure business.
The municipality is accountable to the public in many ways; from financial reports, to emergency response times, to the quality of by-laws, to the conditions of the roads (summer and winter). It is for those reasons that for the past four years the council has invested in staff, equipment, infrastructures, buildings, playgrounds, websites etc. This growth is expected to continue and council needs to be prepared to handle the demands.
So you see, having a responsive council and staff with the foresight to invest wisely, can create the environment for prosperity. What you do and see in this environment is your perception. 

Graham Hawley
OTTER LAKE