Tax rates unfair, Terrace chamber petition states

HERE is a copy of a petition circulated by the Terrace and District Chamber of Commerce, 31 of which were handed to the city yesterday.

THE FOLLOWING is a copy of a Terrace and District Chamber of Commerce Petition circulated amongst its membership March 12, 2012. Thirty one copies were handed to the city prior to its 2012 budget community hearing that day.

Proposed Tax Increase to Small Business and Light Industrial Property Owners

I understand that Terrace City Council is considering a budget increase of 2.5% for 2012 to

meet increased payroll costs and resident expectations for service levels. How?

The Business tax rate in 2011 was $26.13 (already 4th highest in all of BC) and is

proposed to increase to $27.77 for 2012 per $1000 of assessed value. This means Business

would pay over 4 times as much as a resident pays.

The Light Industrial/Commercial tax rate in 2011 was $51.00 (already 5th highest in all of

BC) and is proposed to increase to $53.46 for 2012 per $1000 of assessed value. This means

Light Industrial/Commercial would pay over 8 times as much as a resident pays.

By contrast, residential property owners can expect a decrease in their tax rates by 2.3% on

properties that have increased in value relative to business properties that have not!

Do we attract investment to our community by setting business tax rates that rank amongst

the highest in B.C.? Is this really the best and only means to sustain services?

As it stands, the Terrace business community is being expected to pay a steep tax premium

for service expectations of the residents and cover increased operating costs. Apparently,

municipal governments are of the belief that businesses can either “write off this cost or

pass it on to their customers”. Has consideration been given to how much additional

revenue must be generated in order to offset this additional tax burden? To the price

sensitivity of consumers with an increasing range of purchase options i.e. out of town and

internet? Has there been meaningful dialogue with the business community before taking

these decisions? No!

I therefore, request in the strongest possible terms, that council reconsider this ill-advised

tax increase to a struggling business community that already does more than its fair share to

provide for the well-being of Terrace and its residents. Don’t pass on costs to ratepayers

who are already tax-maxed and fighting to remain competitive and in business.

Enough is enough! I say NO to further tax increases for my business. This is not tax

fairness nor does it contribute to the stability of the tax base of Terrace.

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