Council should cap the gap

Certainty? In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes.

 Benjamin Franklin said this in the 1700’s and this was 300 years ago.

Today, nothing has changed. 

There is no escaping taxes, however tax rates should be fair, equitable and affordable.

Burns Lake’s local businesses are taxed at a rate that is over two times the amount of local residents.  

Why is this?

I did ask the municipality last week why local businesses are taxed at a higher rate than residents and did receive a response .

However if anyone asked me why our local businesses are taxed at a higher rate than residents I would have to say I still don’t know.

The response I received did not really explain why there is such an injustice in tax rates.

The ‘Cap the Gap’ initiative would like to see the ratio for businesses versus residential tax rates set at 2:1 ….. I wonder if local business owners see this as agreeable?

When times are tough taxes just add to the financial burden.

Of course without taxes we would not have services and I think most people agree that taxes are necessary, however when taxes are used to fund frills residents get a little testy about paying them.

In Burns Lake local businesses do not receive any extra services for the extra taxes they pay. In fact they also pay more for their water and sewer that local residents.

If the idea is to encourage people to open up a business in town I just don’t see the logic.

I think Brian Bonney from the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses hit the nail squarely on the head when he suggests that municipalities should trim their spending if residents and businesses can not – or will not agree to continual increases in spending.

Put simply if you can’t afford something, then you don’t get it. I would love to drive a Ferrari, but I can’t afford one so I don’t have one.

While the municipal heating project may well be an exciting step forward for councillors, funding for the extra staff the project requires and start up costs have fallen on the backs of the local tax payers … local business owners included.

We may eventually have a super duper state of the art biomass heating system in place … but at what cost?

There may not be any local businesses left to tie into he heating system if taxes continue to increase year after year.  

Then where will we be?

The municipality should perhaps look at reducing the gap between business and residential tax rates, possibly even less that the 2:1 ratio as suggested by the CFIB.

Times are tough and municipal spending should reflect this.

In recent years we have had many businesses close their doors down. It seems that there was so much more on offer in Burns Lake in the past. I like being able to shop locally and I want it to continue that way

I hope councillors read the CFIB’s Cap the Gap report and listen to their local business owners – after all that’s why they have the privilege to sit on council after all.