Cobble Hill taxpayers concerned

For the first time ever, my wife and I have decided to defer payment of our property taxes under the approved Government scheme. It is more than interesting to note that the staff member who dealt with our application documents at the Duncan BC Services office said that there appears to have been a considerable increase this year in the number of applicants for this deferment programme.

The CVRD will still receive our property tax funds, the difference is that it will be provided by the Provincial Government as opposed to the individual. So, the amount coming into the CVRD coffers will remain unaffected by any deferments. They are fully aware of this so any deferment by individuals results in a zero loss/gain to them

Our main reason for applying for the deferment is the continuing voracious appetite of the CVRD to impose annual property taxes in ever increasing amounts, well above the rate of inflation, accompanied by the same worn-out excuses and, of course, the attendant ‘sincere apology’ to the beleaguered taxpayer for ‘unavoidable circumstances that are beyond our control’.

In reality, I and many others believe that the CVRD and its elected Directors view us, the taxpayer as a bottomless pit with access to unlimited funds, whereas, the opposite is patently true. I also believe that these supposedly unavoidable circumstances are entirely within their control and that they have repeatedly and deliberately chosen to absolutely disregard the path of fiscal responsibility

The majority of seniors, like ourselves, live on a fixed income and after year upon year of being lambasted with huge CVRD spending with the attendant taxation burden on ever more dubious schemes, my wife and I have now reached a point where we are no longer able to keep pace with these demands. The weight of constant tax increases and the inevitable “Trickle-Down” effect weighs equally on young or older families with children and dependents and those that are self employed. We are all, young and old, in the same basket.

It is not only the CVRD, but many other local ‘governing bodies’ who appear to be finding more ways to expand their tiny fiefdoms at the expense of us, the tax paying electorate. These unrestrained demands on our limited resources and the many highly questionable ways in which our taxes are being allocated, disbursed and wasted has to stop.

The whole CVRD organization, elected and unelected, hold themselves in high regard and are blatantly deaf to any populace disapproval or calls for change. This attitude bears a distinct resemblance to David Dingwall the ex President and CEO of the Royal Mint in 2005 when, at hearings to investigate his excessive tax payer funded lifestyle he arrogantly declared that “I am entitled to my entitlements”

For these, and many other reasons, a concerned group of citizens in Cobble Hill, have formed the Cobble Hill Association of Taxpayers (CHAT), a legal entity which will collectively act for the benefit of Cobble Hill taxpayers. As a legally registered Association, CHAT elected Officers and members will be able to attend CVRD meetings and to represent our concerns as a united block. It is, after all, a simple matter for the CVRD to pay no heed to an individual, but not if that individual is acting in unison with many other taxpayers as a legally registered association whose legitimate concerns are being ignored.

We (CHAT) would urge any eligible persons of all age groups within the Cobble Hill electoral area to join us and become members of our Association or to form and register their own local electoral area tax payer association outside of Cobble Hill, so that we may all pull together and begin to bring organized pressure on the mandarins of the CVRD, the area Directors and their irresponsible spendthrift ways.

Are you listening CVRD?

Michael Wilson

Cobble Hill