Letter: Knowing how our taxes are spent

There’s a huge aspect of understanding about our taxation system that I think is sorely neglected.

I am curious, why a person complains about paying for parking.

Given that the City of Penticton uses such funds to provide other city services, possibly this explains why we pay taxes and related charges. Not just income tax, but GST, PST and for others there are business taxes, city permit fees and much more.

I’ve never bought something as simple as a cup of coffee without having to pay GST. With at least three levels of government taxing citizens, it’s no wonder we, the taxpayers, get frustrated of yet another tax or payment for a government service.  While I gladly pay my share of taxes, I’d much prefer a fair taxation system. There are numerous reports that indicate how the wealthy pay less (in proportion to their income) while citizens with less or no income pay more, in proportion to their low income.

There’s a huge aspect of understanding about our taxation system that I think is sorely neglected. Do we know where and how our taxes are spent?

For instance, with our public health care system, if your don’t want to pay taxes, don’t visit your doctor’s office or local hospital.  Do not drive on the Trans Canada Highway, provincial highways or municipal streets. Don’t send your kids to public schools. Don’t support Canadian Forces. Don’t call 911 for help and don’t rely on the fire or police department. Don’t drink city water. Don’t visit the Penticton Library or museum or the community centre pool. Don’t apply for workers compensation if you’re hurt at work. Don’t apply for a birth or marriage certificate. Don’t use elevators.  Don’t expect to be paid a minimum wage.

Taxes aren’t bad, they’re good, but they must be fair.

The Canadian public sector plays an important role in our society and economy. We all need to be aware of how taxes relate to all of us, locally, provincially and federally and to call on all levels of government to be part of a fair taxation system. Then we can understand and appreciate the connection between what we pay in taxes and what we get in return.

Brigid Kemp

Penticton