Letters to the Editor

City can do better on tax rates

To the Editor,

I think sometimes it is good to look at things a little differently.

Take for example what our city council has been able to do for us over the past 10 years. They did not waste over $100 million dollars on improve sewer and water because it would appear they believe cost of those basic needs should be paid for by increasing user fees.

They spent the tax dollars on the things that are important to all tax payers. The important: convention centre, theatres, public outhouse, old CPR property, a pretty new annex, changing the council sitting arrangement and the list goes on.

We also have to give them credit that we got up to the second highest private property tax city in B.C. With just a few more years on this path of increased taxes, double-digit user fee increases and a few more special levies, we could be the highest in North America.

While raising private property taxes, they have lowered the industrial taxes to one of the lowest in B.C. The lower taxes did not give them the business base gains they wanted, so they started offering no tax to many new companies with limited success.

Like a councillor said, the city has lowered the industrial taxes by a great deal to be fair to them and keep them operational and unfortunately the residential taxes had to take up the slack.

Is this really the future we want for Nanaimo? There are an ever increasing number of cities that have said no tax and user fee increases. Cities have gone for more than five years with zero or reduced taxes, so why can Nanaimo not be one of them?

Terry Wagstaff

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