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

Pandora supervised consumption site has busy first month

Site whose aim is to save lives takes on a new client-driven name: The Harbour

Project provides barrier to suicides at hospital parkade

VIHA budgets $650,000 for work at Royal Jubilee Hospital parkade

Our Place celebrates Christmas in July

Afternoon barbecue serves up turkey burgers and Santa hats under the hot sun

Pedestrian struck on Quadra Street

A pedestrian was struck by a vehicle on Quadra Street at Hulford… Continue reading

Police respond after dog left in vehicle at the movies

West Shore RCMP determined the animal was not in distress

VIDEO: Trudeau shuffles familiar faces, adds new ones to expanded cabinet

Justin Trudeau shuffles his front bench Wednesday to install the roster of ministers that will be entrusted with leading the Liberal team into next year’s election.

Owner of fruit stand recounts ‘flames popping up everywhere’ from B.C. wildfire

The Mount Eneas wildfire is burning at about 200 hectares south of Peachland

Owner of B.C. fruit stand recounts ‘flames popping up everywhere’ from wildfire

The Mount Eneas wildfire is burning at about 200 hectares south of Peachland

Ontario, Saskatchewan premiers join together to oppose federal carbon plan

Saskatchewan is already involved in a court case over the tax

For-profit ridesharing legislation long overdue: BC Conservatives

Interim party leader Scott Anderson said the provincial government should step out of the way

After cave rescue, soccer boys pray for protection at Thai temple

On Wednesday evening, the boys and coach were released from hospital

Gymnastics sex abuse victims join hands, accept courage award at ESPYs

The women who spoke out against the abuse by Larry Nassar stood together Wednesday night

Wildfires erupt in B.C. Okanagan forcing evacuation orders and a highway closure

Check out a list of up-to-date information on blazes happening within the Kamloops Wildfire Centre.

‘Amazing Race Canada’ competitors face B.C. challenge

They drove Corvettes, mastered falconry basics, and ate blueberry pie in the Cowichan Valley

Most Read