Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Can Goose Stand More Plucking?

Poor Old Goose Doesn't Even Hiss Anymore!!

The old saying that the art of taxation is to extract the maximum number of feathers with the least amount of hissing. Well, it seems as if our political masters be they civic, provincial or federal must have been slipping some Prozac into the goose's feed lately as the poor old thing doesn't seem to realize it is nearly naked!

Locally, while city council gave themselves a nice raise, city employees got another 6% increase over the next three years, on top of their already arguably out of balance with the private sector pay packet. There is at least a 4% residential tax increase in the works this year and 16% over the next five years (that is merely a pipe dream if you consider what is coming down the pipe) and 25% increase in water fees over the next five years.

If that isn't enough to rouse you from your Prozac induced daze consider a few other ways BC residents will be getting plucked this year:

  • Health care premiums went up 6% on January 1, meaning a family of 2 or more will pay another $84 a year.
  • ICBC raises it's basic premium by 11.2% or $68 a year for the average customer. This can be reduced if you don't buy third party insurance.
  • Hydro rates are going up nearly 4% on April 1 which will add another $36 year to teh average bill.
  • Another cent a litre on gasoline come July as the carbon tax increases to 6.67 cents/litre.
  • Unemployment insurance premiums and Canada Pension Plan payments will also be increasing adding another $142 leaving the average paycheque.
When you hear city hall tell you that another 4% tax increase is 'sustainable', taken in isolation that may be the case, however, when you add it to all the other 'sustainable' tax grabs it sooner or later is no longer sustainable. The fact is for the people living in Nanaimo relying on food banks, and school feeding program, the current levels of taxation are not sustainable.

However, when you are among the highest paid managers in the province (as our top level city managers are) the idea that a 4% increase may not be sustainable is a concept they simply can't identify with.


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