The untruth about taxes

The untruth about taxes Open letter to Mayor Buckway and council: As you are aware, Whitehorse citizens just received our property assessment notices for next year. There has again been a major increase in our property values, somewhere in the 15 per cen

Open letter to Mayor Buckway and council:

As you are aware, Whitehorse citizens just received our property assessment notices for next year.

There has again been a major increase in our property values, somewhere in the 15 per cent range.

This activity always has an impact on most family taxpayers to the city. Generally, during the assessment increase years, the city policy is to lower the mill rate, which is the tax rate to be charged on each property value. To arrive at this rate you take the average price of properties across the city and this is the number where a tax adjustment is to remain neutral if there was no tax increase.

The problem with this methodology is that every other taxpayer that does not fall within this “average” experiences an increase in their taxes, even though you will tell us there is no increase in taxes for that year.

This discrepancy is exacerbated when you add an increase in taxes on top of this, progressively more so for the lower-valued property owners. Accordingly, you are always telling untruths about the tax regime to your citizens.

This has been going on for years, and every year the Utilities Consumers’ Group argues that this policy is a discriminatory practice and gives an unfair recovery to the city coffers every time there is an assessment change, now increasing every two years.

We have been asking for a simple line item on our tax notice with the per cent change, meaning everyone experiences no tax change from last year regardless of the changes in assessment values.

UCG asks that you give clarification on the above concern as quickly as possible.

Roger Rondeau

Utilities Consumers’ Group

Whitehorse