News story No. 1: Crumbling infrastructure beyond municipalities' ability to pay.
News story No. 2: B.C. Ferries gets big property tax break on ferry terminals.
How ironic. Each level of government competes with the others for tax funds to carry out what they perceive as their mandate, while seeking to duck the guilt of being the ones collecting the taxes.
Where has B.C. Ferries been getting the money to pay these taxes? Is it collected from passengers as part of the fares for using the service? Or has it used the B.C. government subsidy, which the government collected as income taxes?
Or maybe the senior governments used the fuel and carbon tax they collected from B.C. Ferries to pay them the subsidy that they turned over to the municipalities as property taxes. Or did it all start as HST/PST collected from all of us to start this transfer?
In the end, municipalities, with the fewest options for revenue, get even less, while there is near-zero chance that ferry fares or any taxes will decrease.
B.C. Ferries is a virtual monopoly, and if they alone get tax-free terminals, it is fairly certain that no private service provider will ever be able to compete financially. Better service or lower costs are rare outcomes in the absence of competition.
David A. Kelly
© Copyright 2013