To the editor,
With the delivery of property assessment notices, especially for rural properties/homes, citizens are experiencing the reality of an ‘asset bubble’ and a taxation design formally known as regressive.
In democracies there are two prevailing tax designs. The first is called progressive. In Canada the most familiar is the determination and payment of income taxes, where those who earn more, pay more.
The second taxation method is one where there is no distinction as to an individual’s capacity to pay. A regressive tax is one where the average tax burden decreases with income. Low-income taxpayers pay a disproportionate share of the tax burden, while middle- and high-income taxpayers shoulder a relatively small tax burden. Examples of a regressive tax are most sales taxes, payroll taxes, excise taxes and property taxes.
In local terms, rural assessments treat all structures as if built new last year. This approach dismisses the idea that the operating cost per square foot of a wood-frame home of 30 years is the same as for a new home, which is nonsense of course.
Since we know progressive taxation is fairer and can encourage a more peaceful society, perhaps the property taxation design now being deployed should first start with the use of personal federal/provincial incomes as the amounts in determining the cash burden of property assessments and taxation.
Erik Andersen, Gabriola Island
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