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Property tax system isn’t fair

Re: “When will the bandage be ripped off?” Feb. 8, 2017

Dear Editor,

Budget time is always a good time to lament about the property tax. That lament will not stop until we elect politicians that have at least a mediocre sense of fairness.

There are three reasons for the injustice:

  1. While the wage income tax is graduated so that the higher income earners pay relatively more, property tax is not graduated.
  2. Property is taxed ownership by title, not on equity, thus leaving the most vulnerable young and new buyers to pay the tax for the owners of the equity, the mortgage lenders.
  3. The ability to change property tax laws is vested, not in those levying the tax, but their provincial masters.

It was ever thus.

Benjamin Franklin, who was not a friend of inequitable taxation, often sought establishing fairness.

As written in a condensed version of Franklin’s autobiography: “These public quarrels were all at bottom owing to the proprietaries, our hereditary governors [the Penns], who, when any expense was to be incurred for the defense of their province, with incredible meanness instructed their deputies to pass no act for levying the necessary taxes, unless their vast estates were in the same act expressly excused; and they had even taken bonds of these deputies to observe such instructions.”

Ed Goertzen