Sunday, May 01, 2016

Taxpayer Engagement --- It Makes A Difference!

Nanaimo resident Ms Denise Bryce
Parcel Tax Opposed By Nanaimo Resident
Council and RDN reconsiders

Local long-time resident and taxpayer Ms Denise Bryce didn't think the parcel tax being assessed by the Regional District was either fair or equitable and after considerable research made two presentations to Nanaimo City Council.

In essence the parcel tax assesses each property (parcel) owner a tax that is not based on the value of the property. The net effect is that the owner of a multi-million dollar property would pay the same amount as someone with a modest bungalow. The amount per parcel in general terms is not a large amount ($13/parcel) which is likely why councillors and RDN directors have pretty much given the old rubber stamp to the increase every time it comes before them.

Ms Bryce spent many hours attempting to get the details about this tax and the pending 5 year increase and during that research it seemed apparent that few people actually had a clear understanding about the tax.

It seems the tax was one of those good sounding ideas that was introduced quietly back in 2005 and has been quietly increased from time to time without any clear plan as to how the money raised was to be used and clearly no consideration as to the fairness of this method of taxation.

As a result of Ms Bryce's efforts the matter was brought up before the last RDN meeting, where it was decided that the whole issue needed reconsideration.

Kudos to Ms Bryce for taking the time to get involved and engaging fully in the process (which included two presentations before Council). Her efforts clearly demonstrate that it is up to all of us to participate in our local governance, and that results can indeed be achieved.


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