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Former aldermanic candidate advocates for home-based business surcharge

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  |  Posted: Thursday, Nov 28, 2013 11:13 am

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Dear Editor,

As a losing aldermanic candidate, I was trying to explain my side of the tax issue. Without adding new stand-alone businesses in Airdrie, it is inevitable that the City will raise property taxes.

The cost of providing services to residents will continue to rise and the money doesn’t flow from Edmonton the way most people think.

The only way to sustain and increase service is to generate more revenue.

This is why I was trying to get my point across to you the residents. My business pays in excess of $50,000 per year in property tax. That doesn’t get me any better snow clearing or services than you. In fact, some days I feel I get less (but then again we all think that way). But I do subsidize residential tax increases. So to raise more business property tax, the City needs to ease up on their bureaucratic nightmare policies allowing existing businesses to expand/grow and selling the benefits of the City to more retailers that are reluctant to come here under the present system.

Think about it, if we were to add just one bylaw officer and pay him/her $50,000 per year, then we would need about 20 new houses to just cover that bill. Assume each home pays $2,500/year in property tax times 20 homes = $50,000. So, who provides the services for those 20 homes? There’s no extra money. Compare that to my business property tax. I pay as much as 20 homes.

The other point of my aldermanic campaign was to start taxing home-based business. We have car dealerships (currently four in Airdrie), massage parlours, RV service (with huge customer parking), accounting, legal, restaurants, et cetera that should be in their own facilities.

Seriously, these companies pay no business tax and deduct from their income tax the amount of space used for their “offices” and “shop.”

What a win-win situation. They don’t pay any more property tax than you do. Is that fair? Time to slap a “Home-Based Business Property Tax Surcharge” on them.

So until the City figures out that a new revenue stream is required to cover services, expect another tax increase next year as well.

Ken Maines,

Airdrie


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