TERRACE city council has been feeling fairly flush this year, doling out amounts from the city surplus to increase community grants, hire a full time bylaw enforcement officer and so on.
The major expenditure is $50,000 to be used to lower business taxes. It helps meets the promise of a 2013 council resolution that as the tax revenue rises from new development, chiefly the Skeena Industrial Development Park, consideration be given to easing the tax burden for others.
It also answers a multi-year call by the Terrace and District Chamber of Commerce to narrow the range between the business and residential rate, a gap among the highest in the province and one which the chamber feels is inequitable.
But that 2013 resolution also called for consideration to lower residential taxes. And on this city council was strangely silent. Not one word, at least publicly, was spoken about this. No argument for or against.
The only comment came from councillor James Cordeiro who proposed the $50,000 business tax reduction. When asked why there had been no consideration to lowering residential taxes, Mr. Cordeiro said there had been no organized lobbying efforts on the part of homeowners to do so.
And that’s disappointing. Mr. Cordeiro and the other council members need to be reminded they’re elected to represent all taxpayers, not just specific segments of the city.
Editorial, The Terrace Standard, April 22, 2015