Proposed N. Cowichan tax hike disturbing

Add more ducks to our tax pen rather than plucking the same ducks.

Proposed N. Cowichan tax hike disturbing

Dear mayor and councillors:

It’s indeed disturbing council is considering a large tax hike, partly to cover a projected $505,000 bill to hire five more staffers.

If North Cowichan were growing our municipality through economic development to attract new, green-leaning businesses here, these tax hikes — if deemed necessary — could be offset by increased business taxes to share the load.

Instead, North Cowichan simply shifts the tax costs to struggling homeowners. Our previously announced 2.89 per cent tax increase was bad news enough.

What’s particularly frustrating is North Cowichan council dissolved its economic development committee some years ago. That move largely shifted our municipality’s economic development potential to our CVRD counterpart Economic Development Cowichan (EDC) — an arguably feckless department as it is sadly not results driven by our CVRD board.

I urge council to resurrect our economic development committee and set realistic goals to attract more businesses here, while also pursuing measurable results from our costly EDC.

If this year’s tax hop is deemed necessary through a public poll — involving calls, emails, and letters to communications chief Natasha Horsman — then at least spread some the tax pain to the Crofton mill and other industrial taxpayers.

Please mayor and council, add more ducks to our tax pen rather than plucking the same ducks.

North Cowichan taxpayer

Peter W. Rusland

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