Friday, December 21, 2007

It’s not the Boston Tea Party, but some things have to start someplace

The letters to the editor page of the Daily News is becoming the soap box of the week for Podunk, a couple of days ago it was a short but succinct reply to news of the return of Dan Veniez.

Thursday it was a thoughtful and heartfelt reply to Prince Rupert City Council over the upcoming January tax increases.

Tom Kingshott touched on a number of items around the city as he vented about lost millions, increasing tax rates and how in his opinion it seems that the city is always taking and never giving.

As they continue to go to the well to find remedies for their woes, Kingshott’s letter to the editor seems to show that there’s an undercurrent in town that perhaps the Mayor and his council may want to take heed to.

Perception they say is everything, and right now with some in town, there seems to be a perception that the civic administration may be a little out of touch with their electorate.

If that continues, the letters to the editor page may soon become the most read feature of the Daily News.

The Daily News
Page four
Thursday, December 20, 2007

To the editor,
An open letter to city council

Can the city council be any more generous with the taxpaying people of Prince Rupert?

What a Christmas gift you present to taxpayers. Talk about Scrooge. How did you ever come up with a five million dollar budget you underestimated? We are not talking nickels and dimes here.
A little thing you could do, for a Christmas thought, is show us you are willing to give a little, instead of just taking.

Let the boat ramp and parking lot at Rushbrook Floats be free during the winter months, say from October until April. There are not tourists here at that time, just us residents. It’s not much but it will show you are willing to give a little.

Is it possible that all the cruise ships that come here and all the passengers that the cruise our streets could pay something like a levy here?

You talk about the town booming – where? I see businesses still closing down, still a lot of people unemployed.

Investors from out of town who have big bucks come here and buy up homes and apartments on speculation. Real estate prices now soar out of reach.

For most young people just starting out, a wartime house sitting on pilings on a 30 foot by 100 foot lot is $100,000. Get real!

The real estate prices are so overly inflated it drives the assessments on homes up, thus more taxes again for the city.

You know, in Prince Rupert we have a real shortage of places for the elderly to live. Why is this?

On a recent trip to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, we have friends who are over 65, and they pay only $100 a year for taxes.

If Nanaimo can do this, is there any chance Prince Rupert could help our elderly who have made the town what it is today? They have paid taxes here most of their lives. A few who are living on just old age pension are forced into selling their homes, something they have worked for all their lives.

How depressing to lose your home because of high taxes and inflated prices for heat, electrical, phone, etc.

Living on just old age pension is not enough for all this and to buy food also.

The Home Owner’s Grant and the deduction for being over 65 is just not enough. The taxes are still too high.

How awful to see something you have worked for all your life just disappear.

Older people who lived in their own home are happy and healthy. Those who lose their homes soon fall into depression, and with depression, hope falls away and sickness takes over.

Now what do you do?

You put them in Acropolis Manor where they are forgotten about.

Let us try to do more for our elderly so they can keep their homes.

Tom Kingshott

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