CONTRIBUTION · 17th March 2010
Unfair taxation proposed by the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine (RDKS) Solid Waste & Recycling Bylaw No. 581-2010 was the hot topic of Lakelse Lake and area residents meeting last night. About thirty area residents turned out on very short notice to protest the 250% tax increase bylaw going to third reading at the RDKS meeting 26 MARCH 2010. The bylaw will affect all regions of the RDKS.
The RDKS Administrator, Bob Marcellin was the surprise speaker at the meeting. He came, he said to "dispel myths" that Lakelse Lake residents had about the proposed tax bylaw. The meeting attendees made it clear to Mr. Marcellin that they had no illusions about the bylaw or the tax system. They were explicit in pointing out that the inequity of a land based property assessment tax was very unfair. In dollars; the tax would mean a lower valued Thornhill property owner would be taxed $58 versus a higher valued rural lake property $585 for the same waste disposal service. One comment was that people generate garbage, not land. Mr. Marcellin said that proposed tax method is the way it has always been and the RDKS did not look at, nor debate other alternatives.
Other alternatives suggested were: fee for service, tax per household and tax per land parcel to try to make the tax fair and equitable. There was a consensus about the room that the RDKS did a poor job of communicating with people regarding the bylaw. A legal notice in the back of the newspaper was not seen as being sufficient. The discussion with Mr. Marcellin went on for well over an hour. He said he would not to ask our elected Regional Directors to postpone or change the bylaw, because "there is no time to do it" and "I need the money".
A Lakelse Lake Society motion was passed to go to ask the RDKS chairman and directors to amend the bylaw to obtain funding for the bylaw through a land parcel tax. A letter is to be written and presentation is to be made at the next RDKS meeting Friday 26 March 2010 at 7:00 PM in Terrace. A large turn out of area tax payers is expected to attend in support of the request to change the bylaw before it is passed.
THE MOTIONS MADE AND PASSED
Moved by: Gordon Gillam/Bill Fudger that the Lakelse Community Association write a letter to the Chair and Directors of the Regiional District of Kitimat-Stikine stating that the Association would like to see any additional charges for waste management collected on a per household basis.
Carried as amended.
Moved by: Ed Kenney/Gordon Gillam that the motion be amended to state "parcel tax" rather than "a per household basis".
Moved by: Ed Kenney/Gordon Gillam that the Lakelse Community Association send a representative to the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine Board meeting on March 26, to voice opposition to the proposed Bylaw No. 581, 2010, and to clarify the position of the Association.