Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Dan Veniez had our back when it came to taxes?

Out of the many exchanges over the firing of Dan Veniez recently, a most interesting discussion point has come to the top of the list, that being the status of the RTI tax bill.

Mr. Veniez as almost a pre-parting shot to his former bosses through a letter to the Federal government (which the blog provided a link to on June 28th), suggested that they were seeking to damage the relationship between the City and the Federal government over a request to defer taxes owed to the city.

As part of their look into that issue, the Daily News asked Mayor Jack Mussallem for his thoughts on the revelations from Mr. Veniez and the impact on the Terminal and the city when it comes toward taxes.

From what we can divine from his thoughts, Mr. Mussallem does not think that the move by the Federal government is an indication of trouble to come, nor does he seem too concerned about the status of the tax payment plans.

George T. Baker
The Daily News
Friday, July 3, 2009
Page three

Former Ridley Terminal Inc. Chair, Dan Veniez, is criticizing the federal government concerning payment of RTI's, taxes.

In a letter exchange that has been circulated amongst the media across the country, Veniez accused the federal government of running RTI into the ground and deferring scheduled payment of taxes.

"Our team was told that RTI should take the late penalty instead of Transport Canada providing the funds for payment of an important outstanding account. We complied."

He also said that the desire by the federal government to defer tax payments owed to Prince Rupert would hurt the relationship between the city and the federal government and that was something the RTI board was reticent to do.

"We strongly recommended against taking such a step given the budgetary constraints of the city and the reputational damage the Government of Canada would suffer by such an action."

Prince Rupert Mayor, Jack Mussallem, chortled at the notion.

"It would not affect the relationship. We have a variety of businesses for a variety of reasons make late payments on their taxes and they know that there is an outstanding interest charge and penalty owing," said Mussallem.

Veniez vehemently disagreed with Mussallem about whether or not this was common for Corporations and businesses to defer.

Veniez said that it's even less normal for the Government of Canada not to.

“Think about it: One level of government deciding that it's OK to be late on paying it's taxes to a municipality that needs them badly," said Veniez.

"There has been some discussion with RTI about their tax bill and as far as we know they are endeavoring to pay their portion of it or all of it by January 2," said Mussallem.

Mussallem said that the staff at RTI is well aware that any taxes paid after January 2 of this year accrue interest and penalties.
Mussallem is opposed to any plans moving towards privatization of RTI.

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