Dear MLA Eric Foster, I paid my property taxes for the current year. Despite my property assessment dropping and the local mill rate decreasing slightly, my husband and I paid higher taxes this year than previously. The reason, of course, is the change in the threshold for the homeowner grant.
In 2013, the government raised the threshold by $10,000 so 95.5 per cent of all British Columbians could enjoy the full benefit of the homeowner grant. This year, the government lowered the threshold by almost 20 times that amount ($195,000). The result, of course, is we and thousands of other British Columbians lose most or all of the grant. The reason why the government reversed themselves so significantly and so quickly is not clear. So I am curious about how the government is going to spend the revenue this reversal has generated.
Has Christy Clark decided she needs to spend more than $64 million on her ad campaigns?
Is the computer system that has cost more than $1.5 million still broken?
Even though you’ve already spent $66 million on aboriginal child welfare, an amount that resulted in no child receiving more or better services, have you decided to spend more?
Does Translink need to build another $4.5 million parking lot that no one uses?
Do B.C. Ferries employees need more than $900,000 for their golf packages and yoga classes?
Do our government employees need more than $1.5 million to send each other presents and pat each other on the back?
Do you need to spend more than $2.7 million on electric car charging stations because there are now 211 electric cars in the whole province (there were 210 last year)?
Is the next Job Fest going to need another $3 million for glow sticks and guitar picks?
You wouldn’t have had to lower the homeowner grant threshold by such a huge amount if you weren’t so wasteful with our money. In fact, you could probably lower taxes if the waste was eliminated. So please tell me what the homeowner grant revenue will be used for?