Nakusp chamber supports business vote proposal

The provincial chamber argues that without a business vote, local governments are tempted to heap an unfair tax burden on businesses.

The Nakusp & District Chamber of Commerce is supporting a B.C. Chamber of Commerce initiative that proposes giving an extra municipal vote to registered business owners.

The proposal by the B.C. Chamber of Commerce would be a return to a similar system in place prior to 1993.

The provincial chamber argues that without a business vote, local governments are tempted to heap an unfair tax burden on commercial property owners, amounting to a form of taxation without representation.

The B.C. chamber hopes the idea will gain traction during the provincial government’s ongoing local government reform initiative. They hope to narrow the disparity between residential property tax rates and commercial property tax rates.

“Without a vote, [businesses] are the easiest group on which to increase taxes,” states a B.C. Chamber of Commerce letter circulated in October. “Many business owners live outside their jurisdiction and cannot be part of the election process or vote in a referendum which may impact their business directly. This means that, while they are the most highly taxed taxpayers in a jurisdiction, they have no voice.”

The B.C. Chamber of Commerce is urging business owners to sign and send the letter to Coralee Oakes, provincial Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development.

Nakusp & District Chamber of Commerce president Dawn Devlin was unavailable for comment, but chamber office manager Cedra Eichenauer said exploring the idea could lead to positive outcomes.

“I think it would be a very useful discussion for the province to have. In terms of whether this particular initiative is going to have a huge impact or actually create a change in the legislation, I don’t know,” Eichenauer said. “I would certainly hope it would be reason for the issue to be discussed.”

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business tracks municipal tax ratios. According to their 2013 ‘tax gap’ report, Nakusp is doing pretty well in the eyes of the small business lobby group.

In a ranking based on tax ratios where the lowest number is the worst, Nakusp finished 113 out of 159 municipalities. The 2012 tax ratio in the Village of Nakusp was 1:2.73.

Although the exact system has not been detailed, Eichenauer said the proposal is to base the vote on business numbers. Any one individual would only be allowed one business vote, and steps would be taken to prevent people from setting up fake companies in order to gain an extra vote.

 

Just Posted

Power still out in northern Slocan valley

Massive storm blew through Kootenays, downing power lines and damaging structures

UPDATED: Hydro lines down near Moyie

Hydro lines affecting traffic on Highway 3 south of Moyie.

All three victims identified in Fernie arena ammonia leak

Wayne Hornquist and Lloyd Smith were from Fernie and Jason Podloski from Turner Valley, Alta

Fernie mourns after fatal ammonia leak

The community of Fernie is coming together to support each other following a local tragedy.

VIDEO: Three workers identified as victims of Fernie ammonia leak

A local state of emergency will remain in effect until Oct. 24 after the leak at the ice rink

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

B.C. NDP convention set for Victoria

Premier, federal leader Jagmeet Singh to add energy

Silver Creek farm search expands north

RCMP were seen collecting evidence three kilometres north of the farm where human remains were found

B.C. school trustee calls LGBTQ school program ‘weapon of propaganda’

Chilliwack’s Barry Neufeld published the comments on his Facebook page

B.C. couple hope boat drone becomes first to cross Atlantic

Colin and Julie Angus of Victoria to have drone collect environmental data en route

B.C. casino accused of illegal activity follows rules: operator

B.C. had launched review after concerns about money laundering at River Rock casino in Richmond

Opponents of LGBTQ program to file human rights complaint against Surrey School District

District denied Parents United Canada right to rent Bell Performing Arts Centre for rally next month

Ex-employee describes alleged sexual assault by B.C. city councillor

Complainant was a teen during the alleged 1992 incident

Amazon gets 238 proposals for 2nd headquarters

Submissions were due last week. Online retailer has said tax breaks and grants would be factors

Most Read