LETTER: Victoria must stop with the tax freebies

How do taxpayers feel about the City of Victoria giving away millions in freebies every year?

Re: Taxing time for politicians (Our View, July 2)

While a tax increase may have been held to a “mere 2.5 per cent” in the City of Victoria, the issue depends on what lofty heights taxes were in the first place. The fact is, they could be a lot lower.

How do taxpayers feel about the City of Victoria giving away millions in freebies every year?

Under provincial law the B.C. legislature, Government House and other properties are exempt from paying property taxes. In 2013 that was about $1.5 million, according to City of Victoria figures. There are also provincially owned park spaces and water lots that are exempt totaling $500,000 annually.

The clincher: we are the only provincial capital, next to St. John’s, Nfld., where the province does not provide grants in lieu to offset the loss of property taxes.

With the burden set to increase in 2014 with subsequent tax increases, the loss will only get worse.

Even the federal government has long recognized the need to compensate local municipalities for federal and Crown corporation offices, national parks and other buildings within their jurisdictions.

The Township of Esquimalt stands to receive $11 million in revenue from the federal Property in Lieu of Taxes program this year.

So what are bedeviled City of Victoria taxpayers to do?

Short of placing a lien on the legislature building itself, voters must demand equal tax treatment.

Stan Bartlett, Victoria

 

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Cool cats cruise in for the ninth annual Langford Show and Shine bash

The ninth annual event features classic and muscle cars and several prizes

PHOTOS: Playful pooches take over Bullen Park for free event Saturday, Sunday

Ninth annual Pet-A-Palooza featured a mud run, weiner dog races, puppy stampede and more

Take your opportunity to sing at the Royal Theatre

Great Canadian Sing debuts Sept. 8 with inspirational music, talented performers, singalong format

Victoria’s Other Secret not so secret anymore

How six Mount Doug teachers turned a lunch jam into $11,000 raised for charity

PHOTOS: Inside the opening of the expanded Westhills Stadium

The grand opening of the expanded stadium in Langford is on schedule for Aug. 24

70 years of lifting: Canadian man, 85, could cinch weightlifting championship

The senior gym junkie is on track to win the World Masters Weightlifting championship

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

RCMP, search crews hunt for 4-year-old boy missing near Mackenzie

George went missing early Saturday afternoon

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

B.C. VIEWS: Log exports and my other errors so far in 2019

Plastic bags, legislature overspending turn out differently

‘It’s just the freedom:’ Paralyzed Broncos player pursuing life on the water

The former Humboldt Broncos goaltender, who started in the net when he was nine, was paralyzed last year

Most Read