Nervousness is justified: Our View

We say: The recent tax hike comes from the same pocket

One can’t help but think that it’s a case of the pot calling the kettle black when Campbell River city representatives on the Strathcona Regional District board express shock and outrage about having to implement a tax increase to pay for a wellness centre at Strathcona Gardens.

Most of the municipal directors on the board were aghast at having to impose a $90.94 tax increase each year for the next five years because, as director and city councillor Charlie Cornfield says, bottom line, most residents of Campbell River don’t distinguish which level of government is taxing them, it all comes from the same pockets. A tax increase from Strathcona Regional District can’t be seen in isolation and is, therefore, added to the total tax bill paid by residents. The City of Campbell River increased its taxes – again – by 2.45 per cent in February. Last year city council approved a 1.69 per cent hike in property taxes while in 2014 taxes rose by 2.92 per cent and in 2013, taxes went up 3.91 per cent.

This is added to the 47.3 per cent increase in taxes that the Strathcona Regional District is considering this year for Campbell River residents.

So, city councillors on the regional board (Campbell River has five municipal representatives on the regional board) would do well to cringe at this latest boost in taxes because it all adds up.

And this project it is being slated for – while it probably is justified and beneficial – just has unfortunate optics. A wellness centre?

Sometimes modern catchwords just don’t do things justice. Fitness and exercise rooms and a therapy pool used to be called gyms and maybe that would be a little more palatable than a wellness centre which conjures up images of new age therapies and “medical” practices not yet approved by the Canadian Medical Association.

You’re jacking up our taxes for what? The city representatives’ nervousness is justified.