Lake Cowichan bid to get back sales tax gets go-ahead

With limited ways to access resources, municipalities at the recent Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities caucus in Courtenay passed a resolution introduced by the Town of Lake Cowichan that calls on the province to hand back sales tax paid on municipal purchases.

Local governments depend almost wholly on property taxation to fund municipal services and are currently facing infrastructure deficits "of enormous proportions" which means that local governments and their taxpayers are "unnecessarily burdened" with sales tax charges on the purchase of all goods and services, which include buying expensive emergency equipment, according to Lake Cowichan Mayor Ross Forrest.

The Lake Cowichan push is to get the province to provide full

rebates of all sales taxes on all purchases, similar to the way the federal government allows for a rebate on GST paid by local governments "with no commensurate reductions of local government revenue sharing programs," he said.

This resolution went down well, was endorsed by the AVICC and will go to the Union of BC Municipalities convention this fall.