Tax formula panders to interest groups

Re: Another tax rise, another money grab (Letters, April 13)

William Perry is not the only Victoria resident upset that our municipal taxes keep rising.

With the announcement by Victoria city council that our residential property taxes will go up by seven per cent this year, it is quite clear this council has succumbed to three very powerful special interest groups: the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, the Victoria police officers’ union and all of the unionized workers, both inside and outside, employed by the City of Victoria.

In contrast to the rise in residential property taxes, eight of the nine Victoria councillors approved a token tax hike of only one per cent for commercial property taxpayers, apparently convinced by pro-corporate interests. To his credit, Coun. Phillipe Lucas realized that the seven-to-one ratio is severely imbalanced and voted against it.

It is obvious that Victoria’s beleaguered residential property taxpayers are being unfairly targeted to help realize the grandiose plans of a council that does not know how to say no to high-pressure special interest groups like the chamber, the police union and the unions representing the other municipal workers paid by our high taxes.

This inflationary taxation system keeps happening, regardless of the harsh realities in the real world market, which is still obviously in recession. It is unfair and ultimately hurts the poorest of the poor.

Gregory Hartnell

president,

Concerned Citizens’ Coalition