Little value for special taxes

Business owner not impressed with DNBIA.

To the Editor,

For six years I have paid property taxes after buying my building on Victoria Crescent in downtown Nanaimo’s Business Improvement Area Zone 1.

In those half-dozen years, in addition to my regular property tax bill – that’s due now – I have been forced to pay an additional $3,000 in taxes toward the private Downtown Nanaimo Business Improvement Association.

Over that time, all I’ve received for the money given to the DNBIA is four trees at the end of my block strung with white light bulbs last year, likely at a cost of about $160.

This is not good value for the $3,000 I’ve poured into this organization for “apparently” improving my street over the last six years. I could have done this out of my own pocket and saved $2,840.

When I talk to the nearly 15 fellow property owners on the block, we figure we roughly contribute close to $8,000 annually to the DNBIA. The city then matches our tax gouge. So $16,000 of our money goes to this small business group each and every year thanks to just this one small block.

Can you imagine what we could do with just our own portion of DNBIA money to help the crescent on our own? We sure can.

If this is what some call wise tax spending, we’re here to tell you it’s not.

George Oliver

Nanaimo