Spread out the tax burden

It needs to be stated clearly that every municipality in B.C. has an unsustainable tax structure.

In response to the article in the PNR Friday March 27, it needs to be stated clearly that every municipality in B.C. has an unsustainable tax structure.

In my 25 years of operating a business in Central Saanich not one of the six or seven mayors, and dozens of councillors in recent years, have had the courage to start the conversation to address this critical issue.  In fact, most residents don’t even understand the true costs of operating a municipality and every elected council avoids educating the public and continues to follow archaic methodology and have local businesses pay the biggest portion.

The proposed 6 per cent tax hike in Central Saanich notes that residents are facing an average annual increase of $99 and businesses an average of $335.

Businesses in Central Saanich pay on average 300 per cent more tax than residents. What if this were reversed, how would residents respond?

The capital improvements within a municipality do not benefit businesses more than residents; we get no additional value.

However, we subsidize operating costs for residents and farms year-after-year and this is unsustainable.

The topic of disproportionate tax is not about whether a project is needed like a new fire hall, or wage increases or water mains. It’s about who benefits. If the answer is everyone, then everyone should pay their fair share.

I would challenge Central Saanich council to start the conversation with residents on what it truly takes to operate a municipality and show the courage to equally distribute the costs to the benefactors.

It’s reached a critical point that mayor and councils across B.C. start doing what’s fundamentally right, not what’s popular, to get voted in.

Jim Townley, Saanichton

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