This is a story about real people who live in a real town in real time in real houses. They have real issues with which they have to deal on real days whether the weather is sunny or overcast, sleeting or balmy. They are like you and me. In fact, they are you and me. This is our town.
Their kids have real runny noses and some of them are colicky – really; their clothes wear out before they outgrow them. The washing machine starts to make strange noises and the refrigerator is leaking. The brakes on the five-year-old car have to be replaced just when you were intending to pay off the debt on the 50-inch television. Sound like life? It is life under the stern rule of the Second Law of Thermodynamics who seems to be in charge in these parts as in all parts of this unruly globe.
The rule of the Second Law shows no favoritism. The rich as well as the poor, and all between, are subject to his unrelenting, wearing pressure. Everything we possess, including our beautiful bodies, will ultimately have to yield to his rule.
When we factor into the equation all the elements of our experiences and then add to that the taxes assessed by the various authorities under which we live, we have to make concerted efforts to keep looking on the sunny side.
Some very real people (eight in number) posted some thoughts on the 2% increase to property taxes recently voted by Council. I clearly grasped the real message they were sending.
But please bear with me. I will try to put some numbers in perspective. Not that perspective will make you feel any better about paying taxes but it might help you understand the actions of Mayor and Council. Mayor and Council were elected to set policy for this community. In a real world clear policy is really essential to order and resistance to the persistent Second Law as it applies to municipal infrastructure.
So consider the numbers and bear in mind that these are numbers for real properties, some of which belong to the individuals who posted their thoughts. In every tax notice there are two factors determining the size of the payment: assessment value of the property and tax rate. While Council cannot influence the assessment, the tax rate is completely within Council’s purview.
I have looked at the numbers for six properties that are typical (though they may not reflect your experience). The 2% tax increase to five of these properties averaged $16.37 when applied to an average increase in assessment of 8% for the same properties. The sixth property experienced a 2% decrease in assessment with a corresponding decrease in tax payable. When all factors for these six properties are thrown into the mix (which includes taxation by the School District, the Regional District, Northern Health, and Policing) your property taxes may increase or decrease depending on what the other jurisdictions do.