Letter: Raising funds

Tuesday, August 15 2017

In the last few months I have been approached by two community groups wanting to get on the tax rolls. The Community Hall is asking for $40,000 per year, and the Arts Council wants $50,000 per year from the taxpayers of Gabriola. I have asked both groups to show me they have enough community support for this tax increase by having people sign a petition saying you are willing to pay an increase. The 800 signatures making that request will help me with the decision on whether or not to put the question forward in the 2018 election.

To raise funds for the Community Hall Association request of $40,000 per year means an increase of about $3.50 per $100,000 or $11.68 for a home valued at $330,000.

The Gabriola Arts Council request for $50,000 per year would mean an increase of about $4.90 per $100,000 or $14.85 for a home valued at $330,000.

If your home is valued higher or lower than that then you pay more or less but using these figures you know approximately what the increase would be.

As a taxpayer, you need to do your homework and ask the hard questions about why this funding is needed yearly and what is it going to be used for before signing the petition.

We all need to be concerned that this increase will be about $26.40 for the average home and will be on top of the tax increase you may get in the 2018 and 2019 budget years. Please keep in mind that we have yet to see the increase in taxes from the additional 350 plus acres being added to our parks.

Some people are telling me it is only a few cents per day to support one or more of these groups so what is the problem, skip one lunch out. What I see is that every time we increase taxes, we make Gabriola more unaffordable for some. The recent numbers from Statistics Canada show the majority of us are over 50 and a lot of people are retired and on fixed incomes.

~ Howard Houle

Director, Electoral Area B

Regional District of Nanaimo