Re: Lantzville approves tax bylaw, May 4.
The art of taxation consists in plucking the goose to obtain the largest possible amount of feathers with the smallest possible amount of hissing, Louis XIV’s finance minister, Jean-Baptiste Colbert, stated.
Some Lantzville homeowners are getting quite misleading information this year and are in danger of increasingly severe ‘pluckings’ in the next few.
A majority on Lantzville council signed off on a budget that will lift village taxes by an estimated 4.3 per cent, “less than a loaf of bread or a cup of coffee a week,” one chirps. But some residential assessments have gone up far more than that.
The value of our modest wood-frame house built in 1971 went up $600 this year. The land it sits on rose in value by $57,000. That’s an 18 per cent leap. This new assessment generates a tax increase of more than nine per cent over last year, double the “average increase” some councillors claim.
That $57,000 ‘paper profit’ would be just dandy if we wanted to sell, but we don’t. As with other seniors on modest fixed incomes, we’re much more concerned about an overly ambitious five-year municipal spending plan staring us in the face.
Lantzville has developed an appetite for capital and operating spending far beyond the ability of present residents to support without a substantial rapid increase in population, which a majority of residents tell planners they don’t want.
It would not surprise me to see increasing numbers of elders pushed into deferring their taxes, having to put liens on our homes to cover out-of-control spending and taxation – and not only in Lantzville.
We old geese had best pay much closer attention to our towns’, cities’ and regional district spending, and press various levels of government to get back to basics. A feather here, a feather there – and soon we’ll be a giant flock of plucked geese.
Garry Gaudet, Lantzville