Cash Strapped or Fed Up with City Hall? Make a Point … and Profit by DEFERRING Your Municipal Taxes

Feel over-taxed, ignored … or even abused … by your municipal politicians? Think your School Board has gone way off track? Not happy with the radicals running the Parks Board?

Then, it probably doesn’t make you feel better to know Vancouver City Council this year is raising municipal taxes (due July 5) by the MAXIMUM recommended by City officials … FIVE PER CENT.

At this time? During a pandemic? When so many are hurting economically?

Read about the 2021 increase here: Vancouver property taxes will be hiked the maximum amount recommended in 2021 | CTV News.

That’s on top of previous Vancouver residential property tax INCREASES of: 7% in 2020; 5% in 2019; 4% in 2018; 4% in 2017 … imposed by free-spending politicians totally out of touch with MIDDLE CLASS taxpayers (owners AND renters).

Has your pension/income kept up with the tax increases imposed by the City?

They go WELL BEYOND the BC cost-of-living rise, which was: 1.9% in 2020; 1.6% in 2018; 1.3% in 2017: https://mpp.pensionsbc.ca/cost-of-living-adjustments.

Vancouver City Council, School Board and Parks Board have abused the trust given them by ordinary taxpayers/renters with these tax increases … over and over again, WELL ABOVE inflation.

It makes a farce of their phony rhetoric that their goal is more “affordable ” housing. Not for working people/young families/retired seniors!

Do you believe YOUR City Hall is treating YOUR tax dollars with respect and are putting it to best use?

No?

Well, if you’re over 55, or a surviving spouse of any age, or a person with a disability …. and finding it tough to get by, or just fed up with lousy municipal government you can now “speak out”, and keep YOUR taxes in YOUR wallet for YOU to enjoy … and you can even make money by doing so.

DEFER your municipal taxes.

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/property-taxes/annual-property-tax/defer-taxes.

The Property Tax Deferment Program is a BC government administered program available to residents anywhere in the province.

To qualify, your eligible property must:

  • Be your principal residence (where you live and conduct your daily activities)
  • Be taxed as residential (class 1) or residential and farm (class 1 and 9).

“You must have and maintain a minimum equity of 25% of the property’s assessed value. This means that all charges registered against your property plus the amount of taxes you want to defer can’t be more than 75% of the BC Assessment value of your property in the year you apply,” the program’s website explains.

One caveat: ” If you have a secured debt on your property, such as a mortgage or a line of credit, contact your lender before you apply to ensure your approval into the tax deferment program doesn’t conflict with the terms of your loan. “

But if you’re one of the tens of thousands of British Columbians equity-rich with a property that you will leave to your estate, you can SHARE in its enhanced value NOW by deferring … until you eventually sell or let your estate pay off the municipal taxes from the huge windfall they will inherit later on.

You still apply for the Basic Home Owner Grant AND, if eligible, the Senior (or Disability) Extra Grant each year … but then you don’t have to pay your remaining net tax bill, until you sell or die.

And let’s keep it real: anyone who inherits your property worth several hundred thousand dollars … or a million … or more, would be quite happy to just pay off the deferred municipal taxes. At least, they should be!

There is a fee to defer … $60 to apply and then $10 each year and, for the regular program, annual interest of 0.45% (LESS than half a per cent!).

That means if your net residential taxes (after Grants) work out to $3,000 … your interest is $13.50; on a home where net taxes are $6,000 … the interest is $27.

Let’s keep it real: if you have a half-decent RRIF or Investment Account, it’s likely earning you more than a half percent a year! Or it should be!!

So you can leave your municipal tax money invested, to continue to make more money for you … or better yet, spend it to enjoy your retirement even more!

And if you’re cash-strapped, but really would like to live out your days in your home or condo, deferring can provide you a pretty good chunk of change to help you do that.

At the same time, you can send a message to City Hall, the School Board and the Park Board that you feel ignored, used and abused and you’re not going to take it anymore … or at least, you won’t PAY for it … until YOU are good and ready to settle accounts!

Harv Oberfeld

( Pass it on! Here’s the link: http://harveyoberfeld.ca/blog/cash-strapped-or-fed-up-with-city-hall-make-a-point-and-profit-by-deferring-your-municipal-taxes/ Help you friends and relatives over 55 save on their municipal taxes this year.

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Posted in British Columbia | 22 Comments

Restaurants Should REQUIRE Vaccination Proof for Inside Dining.

They’re back! Restaurants and bars in BC can re-open to inside dining/drinking.

But for how long? Science has shown Covid from a single infected individual can spread through the air, quite far, in inside spaces … even to tables/customers 15 to 20 feet away.

Read this: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-coronavirus-spreads-through-the-air-what-we-know-so-far1/ and this: https://theconversation.com/how-the-coronavirus-spreads-through-the-air-5-essential-reads-146735 and this: https://www.forbes.com/sites/suzannerowankelleher/2020/12/15/this-is-how-quickly-covid-19-can-spread-in-a-restaurant-per-new-study/?sh=1c5213651fe4.

So why is BC opening up all indoor dining to all customers, regardless of ventilation, air circulation, quality or whether any or all of the customers have had at least one dose of a Covid vaccine?

I get it: Dr. Bonnie Henry, Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan have been under a lot of pressure from the hospitality industry …and the public too.

But as a result, they may have just set BC up for failure, another Covid spread …and another shutdown.

The government should have opened up inside dining to people who can produce their proof of vaccination (at least one dose) paper.

That’s how Israel re-opened so successfully; why not do it that way here?

And relegate those who have not yet been vaccinated (for whatever reason) to outside dining, patios and/or takeouts.

With restaurants/bars shut down to indoor dining/drinking, BC’s Covid numbers fell dramatically. It worked!

The last thing restaurateurs/bar owners … and all their workers and customers need now … is another lockdown.

But that could be exactly where BC is heading … again.

Horgan and Henry both claimed the new new four-step plan would be returning BC to normal slowly and carefully.

You can see all the steps/scheduling here: https://dailyhive.com/vancouver/bc-covid-19-restart-plan.

But when the government, in its very FIRST step, immediately allows unvaccinated people to sit, perhaps even at several tables, INSIDE near and around those who have been jabbed, they are giving Covid a chance to rebound.

People who have taken the time, put in the effort to be vaccinated, deserve protection from those who have refused or have simply not yet had their chance.

At this point in the Covid fight, INDOOR dining should be a reward … not a risk.

So if the government wouldn’t take the steps to ensure success of the current re-opening, by protecting diners and staff, the restaurant managers/owners should .

Establishments that post signs saying they REQUIRE proof of vaccination for indoor seating would be my choice!

And a notice that ALL the staff are also vaccinated would be even better!

Covid is NOT yet over in BC … by any measure: and it’s up to us to STILL protect ourselves, our families and our friends at restaurants/bars … if the government won’t.

Harv Oberfeld

Posted in British Columbia, National | 18 Comments