Letter of the Day | Scrap property tax on primary homes
THE EDITOR, Sir:
The minister of finance said three weeks ago that the property tax was so unpopular, even HE did not want to have to pay it.
Now in an attempt to justify the need to extend the deadline, he is saying that the number of people who have submitted forms so far is evidence of the people wanting to pay the tax.
Which is it?
People are not submitting their forms in droves, and those who are, are only doing so out of fear of a threatened Gestapo response from the Government.
I stand by my position that this tax is unfair, it is unnecessary; it is unjustly constructed; it does not accomplish its stated goals; it is advantageous and injurious to the citizens; it dissuades, rather than encourages, home ownership; it is punishment for good behaviour; and, ultimately, will have the opposite effect to those being stated by Government.
We believe that taxation on primary homes should not even be considered. There are far better ways to close the budgetary gap, including slashing unnecessary expenses, cancelling unproductive private contracts, selling off all unnecessary state business ventures, shutting down all special-purpose state companies whose only purpose is to end run the tendering process, and shut down all government make-work programmes and encourage, instead, food production, farming and small business development instead.
Government can remove the $20-billion shortfall by managing expectations better, by working to increase inflows in as many diverse ways as possible, and via slashing expenses to the bone.
Driving our citizens into bankruptcy and putting them out of their homes is not a sound economic measure, nor does it qualify as a justifiable tax when there are so many better options still not yet explored.
I propose a tax on secondary homes and commercial and industrial properties as a temporary measure until the economy is diversified and balanced, and we steadfastly resist the notion that homes should be considered sources of governmental income.
PHILLIP EDWARD ALEXANDER