How Much Freight Can Average Taxpayer Pay?

Jim Taylor — September 21, 2010
I posted the following on my blog today which came out of yesterdays council meeting.

How Much Freight Can Average Taxpayer Pay?

One of the things discussed at yesterdays city council meeting was regards the problems some municipalities are facing as a result of industry either closing or in some cases refusing to pay their full tax bill.

An example given were our friends in Port Alberni where the residential taxes went up 25% to cover the loss of taxes no longer coming from industry.

The problem would not be as acute in Nanaimo as approximately 4% of total taxes are paid by industry. There is the desire provincially to reduce the ratio of taxes paid by industry when compared with residential taxes. In this case Nanaimo is ahead of some other municipalities as we had already started to reduce the amount of taxes industry is paying.

The net result regardless of how you want to slice it, is there will be a continuing increasing burden of taxes being shifed to the residential taxpayers in our cities as industry pushes for lower taxes, or simply close shop and move elsewhere.

In Nanaimo there is a relatively small industrial tax base, however a large percentage of city taxes are paid by the commercial or business sector. This fact was pointed out at yesterday’s city council meeting.

The point which was not made, was the fact that commercial taxpayers don’t actually pay the taxes, rather they collect their taxes from their customers, which of course is once again the average taxpayer.

So you could argue that there is really only ONE taxpayer in the province. Perhaps they will come to the same place as industry has, in that they will simply pay what taxes they think is fair, and take the city to court to lower the bill.