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Letter: Tax increase a cash grab

In three years my taxes have gone up about 60 per cent

Tax increase a cash grab

I would like to send a message to Aaron Stone, chair of the Cowichan Valley Regional District, and tell him he can take his message and stuff it.

He has told us that they have made every effort to reduce the increased financial burden to taxpayers. Apparently an 11.49 per cent increase was needed to maintain current service levels. The average for an assessment in my area was up 15 per cent. It is explained on our notices that if we are in that range our taxes will “likely not change” and accordingly decrease if our assessment is lower (good luck with that). My assessment was five per cent above the average and yet my taxes went up over $860, an increase of 22 per cent.

In three years my taxes have gone up about 60 per cent. At what point does the Ministry of Finance and the B.C. Assessment Board’s seemingly endless sense of invincibility come to a halt and we put a stop to all this gouging. On top of this I pay for water and roadside collection. I don’t mind paying my fair share but with all these ridiculously high property values I would suggest it is nothing short of a blatant cash grab. I don’t mind seeing my taxes go towards decent pay for teachers and civic workers.

How many pay increases have city council members had over the years? Maybe some of this money can go towards education assistants who deal with helping teachers and dealing with children with extreme behavioural issues. These assistants get punched, kicked, spat on, thrown up on, hair pulled and also asked to change soiled pants.

They have had minimal pay increases over the last decade and are generally only working about 52 hours in a two-week period forcing many to have to work extra jobs. Unlike teachers they are not on salary and do not get paid for summer. They are expected to deal with kids coming to school sick and when they wind up getting sick themselves are expected to stay home. Often they have used up their meagre amount of sick days so do not get paid. They are definitely over worked and under paid and under appreciated.

Maybe throw some of my 22 per cent increase their way.

Evan Begbie

Cowichan Bay