Tax multiplier another issue

Dear Editor:

I was investigating possibilities on having additional referendum questions attached to the required hotel rezoning referendum with little additional cost to the taxpayers.

Council in their wisdom cut me off at the knees with the withdrawal of the rezoning referendum for the hotel at Queens Park.

I wanted a referendum question on the current policy of reducing the business and commercial multiplier from 1.67 times to 1.5 times the residential tax rate.

Over a five-year phase in period, the reduction in the multiplier will reduce business and commercial property taxes by $800,000 and a corresponding increase in residential property taxes by the same amount of $800,000.

At the same time the committee fighting to save Skaha Lake Park  could have placed a referendum question to block all future use of public park lands for business and commercial purposes whether it be by outright sale or a long-term lease on the properties.

Council would be forced into a referendum on all matters regarding city parks in the future.

Do any residents now have doubts if a five-star hotel chain was actually interested in building a hotel at Queens Park?

Was Council only interested in the rezoning to commercial purposes if and when a potential investor appeared?

At a point in time, Council needs to reprogram their minds and return to a democratic process rather than the current dictatorial process.  Hopefully, eye glasses and hearing aids qualify as eligible expenditures under their new medical  plan that Council awarded themselves.

Ted Wiltse

Penticton