Renters pay taxes too

Editorial

Tuesday, August 15 2017

As with previous questions put to the Gabriola voters, one sub-issue which seems to come up is whether those who rent should be able to sign petitions and vote in referendums.

Side note: This does not include the Gabriola Fire Improvement District, which really does only allow property owners to vote. Improvement districts have different rules.

But for the RDN, in particular in the question of the Arts Council and Community Hall tax funding requests, so long as someone is a resident and is legally allowed to vote, they should be able to sign a petition and vote in a referendum impacting the property taxes on Gabriola. Everyone pays those taxes, either in their rent, or directly as owners.

And (if a cause proves worthy enough), everyone presumably benefits from what the taxes pay for.

Let the renters vote. In some cases, the renters are the ones living here, the owners live elsewhere. Many of the renters on Gabriola have been here as long or longer than property owners. 

To say they have no say is to remove them as members of the overall community.