Garry Watson's four-column letter headlined "A failure in tax reform" in the Pique of May 24 is Letter-of-the-year in my opinion. It is a must-read for every taxpaying resident home owner. Garry has done his homework and the facts and figures presented lead to his conclusion that people will be leaving, taxed out of their homes.
News flash! people are leaving. Pique reported a few months ago on the rising popularity of Pemberton and quoted an Intrawest manager, who had relocated from Whistler with his family. The ordinary worker, let alone Intrawest managers, cannot afford to live here and the punitive tax situation only exacerbates the problem. They cannot be blamed if they sell their homes and relocate to Pemberton or Squamish. "Aspenization" is already here.
As a retired resident, I am also facing the dilemma of whether to sell out. I never dreamed that my modest Brio home would ever exceed the value of my old Shaughnessey home and yet, that is what the astounding assessment tells me. I bought my Brio home to live here, not to sell out and I understand how Garry Watson and all Whistler resident workers feel. What with taxes, WEF, Olympic bidding, $10 million houses (mostly unoccupied), unchecked illegal villas and rampant development, Whistler is becoming a less attractive place to live. I think our mayor and council and our community leaders have failed us. I think our MLA and our provincial politicians have failed us.
"Sustainability" becomes a joke when the only logical choice is to sell and get out.
Clive V. Nylander
Your editorial of April 19, 2002 and two subsequent letters to the editor about taxes were brought to the attention of the board. The last letter to the editor from Garry Watson, in my view is a careful and accurate analysis of the current situation with respect to school taxes.
School districts do not set school tax rates. This has not changed with the legislative changes this year. Staff reviewed the legislative changes at our board meeting on May 8. I am enclosing a copy of the staff report, as it may be helpful in providing further explanations to taxpayers in the district.
Chairperson, School District No. 48
Assert your rights to TA rentals
You have probably read about the recent B.C. Court of Appeal decision that came down about a week ago. The RMOW took legal action against a Whistler chalet owner who periodically rented out his chalet for temporary tourist (TA) accommodation. The BCAA decision upheld the original chamber's judge decision of January, 2001 in RMOW's favour. It has taken almost three years to reach this stage, from legal action commencement.