Paying my taxes? Hell ya!

In a couple of weeks, municipal council is going to debate a motion to change taxation because of the fire.  While giving people who have lost everything or who have sustained a significant financial hardship a break makes a whole lot of sense, trimming my taxes by 1/12th just doesn't feel right.  Paying municipal taxes is my small part in being one of the "bosses", as Councillor McGrath - the member who put forward the tax relief motion - likes to call us.

I'm happy and proud to pay 100% of my investment in this community.  I don't want anyone taking away my power as a tax payer by 1/12th because something happened which forced me out of my home for a month.  As our community recovers, it is going to need more resources, not less.  In fact, I would take my interest in stepping up one step further and suggest that I would happily "adopt" a family that has lost their home and pay their taxes, too.  I don't want their power as one of the "bosses" diminished either.

The total cost of this tax relief motion will certainly be revealed as the debate approaches on July 26th.  But there is no doubt that a mass reduction of municipal property taxes is going to be felt somewhere.  It could be in core services, or nice-to-haves, but it will be felt.

We have a collective responsibility to ensure that we have a healthy, vibrant and activated community going forward.  Like it or lump it, having that kind of quality community costs money.  We also have a responsibility to look after our neighbours who are experiencing unfathomable hardship right now.

Maybe the answer is an opt-out option to this taxation relief offering?  We are in a position to pay our fair share and I have no interest in what will amount to a reduction of several hundreds of dollars just because affected families are being helped.

As an owner, a "boss", a proud tax payer of Wood Buffalo, I want to be here physically, emotionally, spiritually and financially during a time when my community needs me most.  Am I ready to pay my fair share?  Hell ya!


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