Make the sewage system fairer

Make the sewage system fairer Do you live in a country residential area or in a situation where you provide your own water and sewage utilities? Do you have a well, or get water delivery and have a septic field on your property? You may be surprised to

Do you live in a country residential area or in a situation where you provide your own water and sewage utilities? Do you have a well, or get water delivery and have a septic field on your property?

You may be surprised to know these assets are assessed by the government of Yukon and taxed either by the city or the Yukon government itself.

My problem with this is that the utilities of people living in town and on the city water and sewage system are not assessed and are not taxed.

Yes they pay a monthly fee for water and sewage, but that is to cover the operation and maintenance of the system and that is not a tax.

Everyone who provides their own utilities must pay for the operation and maintenance of theirs as well, and if you are on delivered water you pay for the delivery and are then taxed on the holding tank.

This is not a fair form of taxation. Either tax everyone’s utilities, or tax none.

While the city’s water and sewage system has been heavily subsidized by both federal and territorial governments, people off the system pay hefty prices to provide these systems for themselves ($25,000 to $30,000) with no help at all and are then taxed on these assets while others are not. We even subsidize the city’s water and sewer system as well.

In Whitehorse we are charged development-cost charges in the thousands of dollars and all of the DCCs that I paid went directly into the cross town water main to service Granger. So I am subsidizing city water and sewage that I don’t receive and being taxed on my own utilities while those on the city service are subsidized and go untaxed.

Sound fair?

There is a simple remedy to all this.

By order in council, the assessments on privately owned utilities could then be eliminated. If you don’t think that is reasonable the other alternative is to assess all that pipe in front of serviced homes, their hook ups and mechanicals and tax them as well. I prefer the first option.

I feel each of the parties in this election should have a position on whether this unfair taxation of utilities should continue. Ask all the candidates in your riding what their position is and if you get to meet any of the leaders ask them as well and then vote accordingly.

The time for fairness in property assessment is long overdue. Tax everyone’s utilities or tax none.

Bill Barnie


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