Re: Bill Barnie’s letter of Sept. 26
To be honest, Mr. Barnie, I didn’t realize that the mill rate had any real focus on helping get affordable housing. Your letter opened my eyes.
I did have a few people I talk to mention that their property taxes needed to come down and you are absolutely right in your assessment of the benefits of this. I’m not sure exactly how to do it, but it must be done to also improve the possibility of affordable housing.
There was a famous premier in Alberta who stated, “Upping people’s taxes to balance the finances of a government doesn’t work.” That premier was Ralph Klein.
He proved (at least to me) that if you up taxes, you’re looking for the easy way out, and it doesn’t work. I’m not sure what the other ways would be, but there has to be a way and it must be that it doesn’t penalize the public.
You’re also right in stating that city council has no jurisdiction in housing. That is a territorial government responsibility. My contention, though, is that the territorial government is refusing to listen to the people and someone or something has to pressure it to do something.
I believe that in order for the territorial government to act, city council in Whitehorse can make demands and one government demanding that another government act makes things very uncomfortable for the government failing to act. Affordable housing is needed in Whitehorse and if it takes a reduction in the mill rate or a reduction in taxes or pressuring the territorial government to do it, I’m all for it.
Candidate for Whitehorse