Over the last couple of months there have been several letters bemoaning the increase in the municipal property tax rates. Well, by now taxes have been paid. Did I enjoy paying the increased amount? No, but I understand council's position.
Starting at least as far back as former finance minister Martin, the federal government has been reducing services and the transfer payments to the provinces, who in kind reduce services and download costs onto the councils and school boards.
The upper governments then get their budgets under control and then reduce income taxes. I do not remember any letters to the editor complaining about that even though the resulting drop in income creates a new deficit that then must be remedied by further reductions in services and transfer payments and now the delayed old age security pensions, which will presumably cause higher welfare costs on the provinces for those persons who would formerly have received OAS at age 65.
At the end of this chain are the municipalities who then pass on the effects of the downloading onto us, the property owners, who have no recourse. Or do we? Some think so.
The column Small business has huge impact, (Burnaby NOW, June 29) calling for a reduction to the tax rate for small businesses. I would point out that businesses small or otherwise pass on their costs to consumers, but homeowners do not have that opportunity. If the business tax rate is decreased, then future homeowner property tax increases are likely to rise by even greater amounts, in order to offset the reduction in taxes for businesses.
Paul Bjarnson, Burnaby