Dear EditorHere is an example of real tax reform rather than the proposed tax reshuffle currently being considered by HRM council that would see taxes skyrocket outside old Halifax for your and your readers’ consideration. This will address all the problems they say are in the present system. Do away with municipal taxes, as we now know them. The only bill you will get from the city is for water and only water usage will be on the bill. This way people who consume or waste water will pay more.
To replace the present system of taxation add ¼ or ½ of 1%: or even a full 1% to the income tax form. Ottawa collects it and turns it over to the municipality. When filing tax returns people would list their gross income, deduct the personal allowances and pay a percent of the next line. Business would take their gross earnings, deduct T4 amounts and anything paid out to share holders and pay a percentage of the net amount left.
Also get the province out of our pockets at the civic level. They have the big taxation abilities and well as collecting the fees for every service. They should be paying the full bill for education after all its under their mandate and they should be putting some of the gas tax money into the roadways in the municipalities again, roads come under the mandate of the Department of Highways a provincial government department. Why should some pay twice for the same service?
1. People who have land from their family but don’t have the income to pay under the present system would pay according to their income and not lose their home.
2. If your income drops for any reason; you’re out of work; retirement; death of a spouse; you would pay less taxes to the city because your taxes would be directly linked to you earnings.
3. Everybody pays directly no hidden taxes in rents etc. Therefore rents should drop when this is instituted. Also no condo land taxes on top of owner’s taxes.
4. Somebody with money but living in a modest home would pay according to their ability.
5. Fewer employees at city hall. We pay for finance departments at all three levels of government so they can tax us and collect the taxes. This triple service cost can be removed at the civic level with this system.
6. Business would contribute according to their income. Nobody would be left out.
7. The city would not have to take drastic action such as selling a persons house or forcing them to sell it. Ottawa has the power to garnishee wages at the source.
8. We would not need an assessment department in city hall or to pay the province for doing assessments.
There may be some wrinkles that have to be ironed out but as a basis for true tax reform I feel that this addresses the problems as well as lowering operating costs for the city. We have to get government to think outside the box looking at real needed changes.
Candidate District 20
By Bruce Devenne