EDITORIAL: Billville taxation

A Parksville city councillor who wants to be mayor is not showing leadership in his timing regarding his views on taxation

Principles and theories are easy to spout when you don’t have to deal with the ramifications.

City of Parksville Coun. Bill Neufeld believes businesses should pay more in taxes.

That’s all fine and dandy on paper, councillor Bill. Actually it’s not. It’s dangerous and irresponsible talk coming from someone who would hopefully want to show leadership.

Neufeld seems to think small business owners in Parksville could easily handle a bigger tax or water bill. That’s right, councillor Bill, they are just raking it in, taking months of holidays in sunny climes and planning their early, luxury-filled retirements. Not.

While it’s true the total contribution of tax dollars from businesses to the city is not where it should be percentage-wise (it’s around 25 per cent and 35 is the goal for most municipalities), that’s a result of too-few businesses. Nailing the current businesses with a higher bill to get the number to 35 per cent would be crippling, shortsighted and, quite frankly, a dumb way to operate a city.

Sure is a great time to be talking about this too, isn’t it? The economy has really been rolling in the world and this area, hasn’t it? And this talk comes just as the low season is winding to a close and some businesses are hanging by their fingertips, hoping to make it to tourist season. Yep, great timing, councillor Bill.

So, if Coun. Bill was king, or mayor, he would happily lead the charge to increase the tax bills of local businesses.

If Billville came to pass, small business owners would have to cut corners and lay off staff. Would King Bill visit the single mother who was laid off from the coffee shop and explain to her why this principle, this theory, is the right thing to do for this city?

Neufeld cares about his city, that much is clear. And his passion is commendable. But the irresponsible nature, and attack-business feel of his recent comments are not worthy of someone who should be showing leadership in tough economic times.

Or any time, for that matter. The whole big-bad-business attitude is tiring and, quite frankly, old and holds no water. Raking the business community for more revenue isn’t exactly original or creative. Get a new schtick, Mr. Bill.

— Editorial by John Harding