Re: “Thank you, Bill and Kathryn” – J.M. Presley (Record, Sept. 2).
Mr. Presley dwells on the issues related to the recent HST vote results while ignoring the big taxation picture in B.C. Without a doubt, the HST is an efficient and effective way for government to collect tax revenue.
The point Mr. Presley misses is that the HST was only one piece of a very unfair tax system in B.C. where the richest 20 per cent pay a lower rate of tax than the rest of us.
In 2000, most B.C. families paid about the same tax, with the top 10 per cent of income earners paying a bit more. Today, the top 20 per cent of income earners pay a lower rate than the rest of us.
This hits the middle class and families hardest. For example, with tax cuts since 2000, the top 10 per cent get a $9,000 tax break, while the middle class and families get about $1,200.
That is unfair.
B.C. tax revenue has fallen by almost two per cent since 2000, or about $3.4 billion. That loss of revenue has meant cuts to such public services as health, education, police.
We now pay more in MSP premiums than businesses contribute to provincial corporate income taxes.
That is unfair.
What B.C. needs is a fair tax commission to look at what services we need, what infrastructure needs updating and how all of us can pay a fair share.
That would be fair.
Mr. Presley likes the current unfair tax system because he benefits more than the rest of us. If you rob Peter to pay Paul, you create another problem in doing so (unfair taxes), often through poor short-term planning.
However, you can always be sure of support from Paul.