Monday, February 16, 2015

Evidence of Serious Tax Fatique In Nanaimo

Chamber Asks For Tax Freeze Until 2020

At the Feb. 16th meeting of Nanaimo City Council the Chair of the Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce addressed council and her closing remark directed to council was:

"Relaxing the current, inordinate burden on commercial property owners by freezing tax increases on Commercial Rate Payers until 2020, the simplest statement we can make. We have a comprehensive presentation we’d like to make to Committee of the Whole and the Finance Committee where we can demonstrate the positive value proposition of this move over the long term."

The business community in Nanaimo, many of whom are struggling, see the 'inordinate burden' of current taxation as a serious impediment to their success. They are seeking tax relief from this council by way of a tax freeze until 2020.

Fair enough. But what makes anyone think that the commercial property owners are the only members of our community who are beginning to see the levels of taxation as an inordinate burden? Does anyone think that taxes can keep increasing year after year after year when the only household incomes increasing are those funded by the Nanaimo taxpayer?

There is a current tax increase proposed for this year of 1% which we are told is necessary unless we are willing to see our 'service levels' drop according to our city manager. There seems no mention of the $2.5 million in surplus taxes collected last year which, if applied to general revenue this year would eliminate a tax increase, and in fact should result in a tax decrease.

If the Chamber of Commerce is successful in lobbying council to freeze commercial property tax rates until 2020, and city expenditures continue to climb, the only other source of revenue would be the average residential taxpayer. Many of whom feel as if they are already being overtaxed based on the services they receive for the price they are already paying.


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