By Cole Parkinson
The proposed small business tax has been a hot issue throughout the country and now the M.D. of Taber is throwing their opinion into the ring.
The discussion came up during the M.D. regular meeting on Sept. 26 as Bow River MP Martin Shields is hosting a round table in Taber to allow the public to voice their opinions on the changes that could come if the bill passes.
In his press release, Shields states “These tax hikes are going to have a devastating impact on Canadian small business owners and farmers. These people spent years building their businesses, and are the backbone of the Canadian economy. We should be asking how we can help them grow and succeed — not how we can tax them out of business.”
The board had a chance to sound off on the tax changes that may come to affect the municipality and develop a plan on how to best proceed.
“I think as a municipality we need to watch because this could affect a large percentage of our rate payers,” said Brian Brewin, reeve for the M.D. of Taber.
The effect that the tax will have on generational farms was also a big point that Brewin highlighted when talking about the negative effects that will befall small business owners in the area.
Concerns about the money being taxed was a talking point that irked many of the councillors.
“Now they want to tax the hell out of that money that’s been taxed already, so it’s going to be double dipped. So people will be tight with their money or they won’t spend,” said Dwight Tolton, deputy reeve for the M.D. of Taber. “It’s that redistribution of wealth, you’ve got to pay for all of this other programming and they think if you’re a business owner you must be independently wealthy.”
The big increase to small business tax has left the councillors scratching their heads with how the government decided on the number.
“Talk about inconceivable, a 73 per cent tax rate. What is this the Communists now or what?” said Bob Wallace, councillor for the M.D. of Taber.
The council went as far as putting up a motion to voice their opinion as well as make an appearance at the roundtable.
“I wouldn’t mind if council made a motion objecting to this tax proposal and I think we also want to try to be there to the open house,” said Brewin.
The motion passed unanimously as all members were vocal about the negative impact it would have on each of their regions.
The round table discussion is scheduled to take place on Oct. 13 at the M.D. council chambers from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. but if there is an overwhelming amount of people attending, the M.D. passed a motion to move the meeting to a better location if required.
Brewin was disparaging of how little the Canadian government was listening to municipalities throughout the country and he hopes with this roundtable things will be rectified.
“It’s the most frustrating thing I’ve ever seen, they’re entirely ignoring us.”