Vernon reader says inflation, taxes debilitate purchasing power

To the editor:

Over the 17 years we have lived in Vernon, we have seen council regularly accept greater than inflationary budgets.

We have brought about extra ice sheets and a running track as well as inner city beautification and other endeavours.

We continue to spend enormous sums on both the RCMP and the city fire department.

Each year, in order to pay for these projects we spend more, in some years much more than inflation.

This has had a profound effect on many in Vernon who live on a fixed income, or one marginally indexed to Canada’s Consumer Price Index.

Some live comfortably on defined benefit pension plans as well as investments, OAP and CPP.

When it comes to property taxes, like many the city can defer them to a provincial account that charges about the lowest rate imaginable.

This is after discounting them for the homeowner’s grant and age deductions. Think of it as a home reverse mortgage on the cheap.

This strategy is not available for many who are younger than 55, and are raising a family.

If they are well off, they own a residence and will have at least the homeowner’s grant as well as property value increases as a benefit.

There is no tax deferral for them and perhaps no recent salary raises.

For those retired seniors without a workplace pension, life depends on OAP, OAS and maybe a partial CPP.

Many rent and are subject to annual increases that have until current government intervention run at inflation plus two per cent.

There are no rental grants or deferments for them.

Imagine the effect of losing two per cent, a very conservative estimate, or greater of your fixed income over, say, 10 years.

This means you will have lost more than one-fifth of your former purchasing power.

This will come about as your medical and transportation costs are increasing due to aging.

I would like council and all who work for the city to think about these issues when they ask for more projects or money.

William Dunsmore


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Advance polling closes today at 8 p.m. in Vernon. Pictured: Schubert Centre. (Jennifer Smith - Vernon Morning Star)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Last day to cast early vote in Vernon

More than 15 per cent of eligible Vernon voters cast ballot in advance polling

RCMP stock photo (Black Press)
Kelowna RCMP investigating unexplained death of cattle

Cattle found dead near gravel road, east of the Kelowna Airport

Vernon Fire Rescue Services work to put out a structure fire in an abandoned house on Highway 97 and 39th Avenue Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)
UPDATE: Vernon house fire under control

Single-lane traffic remains in effect on Highway 97 in both directions

North Okanagan Skin and Laser has adapted to COVID-19 by adding an e-store to its website and switching to paperless operations. (Morning Star photo)
Vernon medical spa draws positives from pandemic

North Okanagan Skin and Laser launches e-store, switches to paperless operations

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen is launching an initiative to provide horse-assisted therapy to frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic (Black Press file photo)
Community Foundation of South Okanagan Similkameen to provide horse-assisted therapy

Therapy sessions will be offered to frontline workers during ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

Brody Peterson said he intends to dispute tickets issued by Grand Forks RCMP at his backyard “house warming” Saturday, Oct. 10. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Brody Peterson told The Gazette he intends to dispute tickets issued by Grand Forks RCMP at his backyard “house warming” Saturday, Oct. 10. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
‘This is a big outdoor space’: Grand Forks man behind backyard party to fight COVID tickets

Homeowner Brody Peterson said he’ll dispute tickets for refusing police instructions, alleged COVID violations

Paul Singla walks towards his Penticton home on Heather Road in 2018 after CBSA officers raided it. (File photo)
Singla and Toor make first court appearances on immigration fraud

The Okanagan men had their cases adjourned until 2021

A glimpse of some of the 480 (approx) cars written off as a result of the acid spills along the Trail highway in 2018. Photo: Trail Times
Kootenay Ford dealer’s frustration grows with ICBC

Trail AM Ford owner Dan Ashman says he just wants fair compensation from ICBC

Mail-in ballot from Elections BC (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
At least 26% of eligible voters have already cast their ballot, Elections BC says

Voters can cast a ballot until 8 p.m PST on Election Day

A 2018 decision to fly a rainbow flag ended up costing the City of Langley $62,000 in legal fees (Langley Advance Times file)
Human rights win in rainbow flag fight cost B.C. city $62,000

“Lengthy and involved” process provoked by complaint

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a news conference Tuesday October 20, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau and his family decide against trick-or-treating this year due to COVID

Adhering to local health authorities, Trudeau urges Canadians to do their part in following those guidelines

Most Read