If so, you are no doubt aware that the provincial government plans to apply an additional “school tax” to your property beginning next year. Let me be clear, I am very opposed to this tax because of the effect it will have on many of you. West Vancouver has not always been unaffordable. I met recently with a long-time resident who reminded me that for many years our community was home to bus drivers, small business owners and police officers - an emerging middle class that helped to build this community. They bought homes priced well below $100,000 in which to raise a family, and today are being asked to contribute a disproportionate share of this tax revenue. They are not wealthy, they do not want to sell and leave their community, and cautious of debt, are often reluctant to defer their taxes. The question is, what should we do about this? How can we best advocate to have this proposed legislation changed?
Shall we hold “rallies” such as the “Citizens’ Town Hall Meeting” held on June 7th at the Kay Meek Centre, chaired by Mr. Sager? I attended that meeting, but found it less than strategic and largely unappealing – West Vancouver is better than that. Most important, almost four months have passed and what has been the result? Yes, Mr. Sager became a last minute candidate for mayor, but other than that?
Leadership style matters, and as much as I am opposed to this tax, you will not see me railing in the media or in public about this tax. Instead, reasoned diplomacy and constructive suggestions are in my view much more likely to be successful with a government whose concerns go well beyond West Vancouver.
On September 11th I met with Finance Minister Carole James, along with Councillor Nora Gambioli, to propose several alternative forms of taxation that I believe to be fairer, and that will help cabinet to achieve its larger goals for this province. She was very interested in our suggestions, and invited us to come back after she’d had a chance to consider them more thoroughly. Should I be elected mayor, this is the style that you should expect more of - listening, collaborating, and searching for common ground.
I would be interested in speaking with you about this tax, or about any other issue that concerns you. My campaign office in Ambleside (1441 Marine Drive) is up and running, and I would be pleased to meet with you on any of the following dates, if you’d like to drop by:
Tuesday, October 2nd 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Wednesday, October 3rd 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Thursday, October 4th 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Authorized by David Ayriss, Financial Agent, firstname.lastname@example.org