I am writing in response to Shachi Kurl’s letter claiming local business taxation is not fair at all in relation to the tax burden of homeowners, (column, The Terrace Standard, May 30, 2012).
First of all, Shachi isn’t even from Terrace, as near as I can tell she lives in Richmond, BC. She is obviously writing at the behest of business owners in Terrace, but why did she have to do this for them?Second, there is a major difference in the function of home ownership and business ownership.
A home owner lives in their home; it is an overall expense except in terms of equity that can easily be wiped out if real estate takes a downturn. Business on the other hand functions solely to profit the business owner(s).
Many expenses toward the cost of doing business can be used to reduce the tax burden business pays.Some taxes, fees, licences, fuel costs, insurance, interest payments, accounting costs, maintenance and repairs, rent, salaries, etc… etc… can all be used to reduce business taxes.
No plain homeowner can write down a $7,000 new roof on their income taxes, a business land owner can.In business, losses from past years can be carried forward to reduce the tax burden in future years, and business investment losses can also be used to lower taxes, something a homeowner can only dream of.
Third, it is very easy to find groups to represent the interests of business, but nobody speaks for working class people in this town.
Workers are caught between the pincers of business/corporate greed and government social programs. If Shachi gets her wish and taxes are shifted to home owners, I can tell you that with less money in my budget from an increased tax burden, I will spend less money in Terrace businesses, perhaps I will shop more online or out of town.
If things get bad enough, maybe I’ll just quit my job, declare bankruptcy and let the bank take my home instead of working so hard to support business interests and the impoverished.
Fourth, it is not “commerce” that is the true life blood of a thriving community. First Nations functioned for thousands of years without requiring a currency, or charging taxes on anyone.
In almost all instances, European settlers chose to build their first encampments near First Nations settlements when they came to colonize, ergo it is people who provide the vital resource for commerce to happen; no people to exploit means no commerce.
I have noticed in all the rhetoric of business being job creators, life blood of communities, etc… you never hear the notion of business simply taking less profit, a rollback if you will. No, that kind of thinking is only for employees and the poor.