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Deformed tax reform 

To the editor,

I attended the tax reform meeting at St. Angus's May 28. It was like going to the garden centre and picking out the best bag of manure. Most people expected a speaker followed by public questions with public answers. These same people were disappointed. It was a series of static displays and handouts most of us already had. One lady who expressed her disappointment to a young employee of the city was told with total arrogance (I am paraphrasing here a bit), "If you don't like it, leave."

Proposed tax figures on display omitted the tax with which the province gouges homeowners and renters. None of the elected council members who were part of the committee bothered to show up to face the voters. It's time these people learned just who is in charge and who is paying the bills and their inflated salaries: us, the taxpayers. From what I have seen and heard about this tax reform, and this comes from council members as well as members of the Halifax Homeowners Association tax reform committee, it is a play to offload taxes from the downtown and south end core of Halifax onto the middle-income owners in Clayton Park, Sackville and Fall River. One councillor estimates taxes in Clayton Park will be between double and triple what they are now.

Government has a death grip on us. They can seize paycheques without going to court, throw you and your family out on the street and sell your house. Like Nova Scotia Power they have absolute monopolistic control over you and don't seem the least bit concerned with what you can and cannot afford as long as the good times roll on: Taxpayer-supplied cars and expense accounts, perks like choppers to zip around to meetings and a different set of laws to live by---just ask Ernie Fage. Is it time for a tax revolt? Though it's not legal, what would Peter Kelly do if we formed a committee, opened a legal trust fund and paid our taxes into it? Maybe it's time for action. If nothing else, it would teach them who they work for. Get on the phone, on the 'net and tell them to leave the tax structure alone, stop wasting tax dollars and look after the services they are mandated to supply. Remember when they wasted $10 million tax dollars to learn what we knew at the start---that the Commonwealth Games were an economic disaster looking for a place to happen? They called that waste of our money "practicing due diligence." What do you call it? Do we want higher taxes so they can continue this financial squandering?

By Bruce DeVenne

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