… that would be a $25,000 portion of it anyhow.
In reviewing the council agenda for tomorrow Aug. 27 2012 (page 18), I came across this item below from the to-be-approved-tomorrow minutes of the Aug. 20th D&PS Committee Mtg.
Property Taxation and Tax Multiples
Moved: Councillor Harrison
Seconded: Councillor Eliason
THAT: Council reduce the Class 4 (Major Industry) multiple in the 2013 taxation year thereby shifting approximately $25,000.00 in property taxes from Class 4 to the other property tax classifications;
AND THAT: the Class 4 (Major Industry) tax multiplier be reviewed in August of 2013.
* From the Development & Planning Services Committee Mtg. minutes of Aug 20 2012
The issue of tax classes and multipliers is an important one as any change for one group affects the other classes. In this case, the other classes would pay more in 2013.
I’ll try to make a few inquiries this evening and perhaps I am missing something … I have been in and out of town the past few weeks …
… but my first reactions:
- Shouldn’t this topic come up at a regular council session – rather than a much less attended planning meeting? Perhaps it will but I don’t see it anywhere on the agenda other than in the “minutes” of the planning meeting that are to be approved.
- While it’s possible (likely?) that the topic could be brought forward during the public aspect of the budget process later on this year, these discussions (and unanimous agreement) do set direction right now for the staff and have weight behind the intent. A budgetary line item like this gets put in place without much public awareness until the very end.
I feel that this is a good example of a transparency issue where council could have said something along the lines of: We’ve been considering this tax shift – What do you think? – There’s an opportunity for the public to discuss it at a council meeting – and then we’ll make a decision.
… and not the manner in which this taxation-shift table seems to have been set.
The issue of taxation classes and requests to shift the load are a slippery slope with many implications. They are difficult issues to deal with. There have been tax-shifting requests before and there are surely ones to follow.
The discussion needs to be as public as possible – in real council time and not at a planning meeting and then stick-handled at the last minute a few months down-the-line.
At least, this is how it appears to moi.
More on this in a bit.