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LETTER: Questions raised about Summerland property taxes

Dear Editor:

By now property owners in Summerland will have received their tax notices.

The page on how our taxes are used is certainly entertaining. I worked out an approximate percentage expenditure based on the example given.

READ ALSO: Summerland taxes expected to rise by 4.0%

READ ALSO: Summerland’s property tax deadline extended

• 55 per cent of our taxes goes to municipal services; 32 per cent goes to our schools. The other 13 per cent goes to useful miscellaneous.

• 28 per cent of our municipal tax dollar goes to roads, sidewalks and drainage.

• 22 per cent to recreation, parks & cultural facilities

• 17 per cent to policing

• 10 per cent to fire protection

• Eight per cent to general government

• 15 per cent to useful miscellaneous.

My family has been in Summerland since 1968. We have an orchard and a couple of small rental homes. And even though we qualify for home-owner’s grant, we still have a substantial tax bill for which the municipality has graciously extended payment to Sept. 30.

We don’t have a view of the lake, just a massive greenhouse operation, which is okay. The roads in our area are in a sad state of disrepair and we don’t have sidewalks, and only recently got a fire hydrant within a half mile.

I’ve used the police once a long time ago to register my hunting rifles which turned out to be a waste of time. We’ve never had call to use fire protection, but do use the landfill and recycling, which, incidentally, we also pay for on a monthly basis through our utility bill.

We all like to help out our neighbours, but it is my opinion that perhaps our taxes should be based on a more equitable footing, established on our use of municipal services rather than supplementing new development, which results in additional police and fire protection, more roads, more services, more taxes, etc.

Frank Martens

Summerland

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