Letter: Population growth means free money for Kelowna

“Kelowna’s population is rapidly growing, and every new resident that settles here pays taxes.”

To the editor:

In his letter Dec. 19, David Rogers correctly exposes how Kelowna city council’s 4.4 per cent tax increase, when repeated each year, will automatically result in taxes doubling in only 18 years. Worse, this 4.4 per cent increase is not a one-time levy; it is a permanent tax increase.

But it’s even worse than that! Kelowna’s population is rapidly growing, and every new resident that settles here pays taxes. So even if the tax rate itself never increases, total taxes collected will automatically increase each year as population increases. It is easy to see why so many cities are happy to have solid population growth… most of this windfall is free money!

This city must not fall into the trap of legitimizing yearly tax increases. We must realize that for every 1 per cent that taxes are increased, this means that from that point on, residents have 1 per cent less money to spend. Yearly tax increases are irresponsible, since our population and thus our tax base automatically increase each year.

Robert Wilson

Kelowna

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