I first learned just how touchy people are about their taxes while working at a GST Rebate center. My job was to ask a laundry list of questions to determine eligibility. How long was your trip? Did you stay in any hotels? Did your purchases total more than $100? Are the goods in your car with you? What's your favorite Neil Young song? Ok, that last one was a blatant abuse of power but it was also a valuable lesson. I actually learned two things. One: Neil has some great fans. Two: While a delicate art to some, the vast majority of people do not appreciate mixing humor and taxes.
In fact very few people enjoy paying, or discussing the merits of taxes at all. Merits?! Yes, after an lifetime of being bombarded with "Taxes suck! Why are they taking my money!" I too was shocked the first time I heard someone say "I don't mind paying taxes." Well it turns out that taxes are indeed a good thing, but like all other good things, it only takes a few bad apples to ruin it for everyone. Taxes are good because as we can all agree, in this world it takes money to make money and buying things in bulk is exactly what taxes do. Of course seeing that chunk come off the paycheque hurts and it doesn't help with media's constant focus on only the bad apples without a hint of the red delicious.
Municipally, the newest tax hubbub has us going to the polls and voting whether or not we should be getting a line of credit for $20 million. With or without, the borrowing of that money will of course be an increase in taxes. As for the ploy? Well, borrowing the money is fine if you can convince the people that it will in fact be worth it. Therein lies the rub. To many, the second you say taxes you're dead in the water. Especially if the only guarantee you offer is a vague to-do list and a politicians "trust me" smile. Talk about the toughest sell.
The only thing going for this ballsy play is that not one person in Squamish would deny the need for those and of course, other facilities. But vagueness leads to uncertainty and that of course leads to silly things like the Church making a play for some of the State's cash.
Now, as much as I don't trust politicians, my gut says go for it but only because I realize it takes money to make money. There are brands out there that would love to have a piece of us (i.e. GM Rink or Staples Squamish Arts Center). They'd be much more willing to participate knowing the community has 20 mil behind them. These day's it's all about matching funds.
Whatever your view we only have one chance for our 2 cents to mean squat and that's On February 26th. Don't vote? Don't Bitch!