Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Taxation without representation

There is a disturbing trend developing in a few BC and Alberta towns of imposing a higher property tax on non-resident owned property.  

Here's a CBC story about Kaslo, BC.

It's also been done in Canmore, AB.

They can claim all they want that there are additional costs associated with cottage or secondary-home owners, but the bottom line is that these towns know that they can raise taxes on people who don't have a vote.  That is precisely why you never see these types of taxes occurring in summer villages (where part-time residents do get a vote) and only in towns where part-time residents done get a vote.

It's a shady way to collect taxes and it's taxation without representation

1 comment:

BEF said...

I guess Kaslo has watched what has happened in Inveremere very closely and is taking some proactive steps to prevent the over-development of their quiet piece of paradise. As someone who grew up in the Kootenays, and has watched with interest the rapid development of the interior of BC, I can totally understand why small towns like Kaslo are implementing these measure (not unlike many States such as Arizona and Florida).

The short version is, most BC-ites don't like Albertans. It was like that when I was growing up there and it's still like that today. There is a deep resentment for the uncouth masses from Alberta who blow into these small towns and buy up all the prime property - thus driving up the property values and preventing the locals from buying in their own area.

Like it or not, that's basically the way it is. If you took the time to notice while you're there enjoying Kootenay Lake that the locals aren't too friendly -- it's not your imagination. It's you and you should take it personally. They don't want you there. So I guess you have two choices in the matter - like it or lump it. Like it -- suck up the higher taxes as another status symbol of being able to afford what hundreds of local BCer's cannot or -- lump it. Sell your overpriced cottage and buy in Arizona. Oh wait -- you'll pay higher taxes there too as a non-resident. Hmmm... oh well :-)

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