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Letter: Is the RDCK planning to repeal this tax increase

To The Editor:

I was pleased to attend the opening of the newly renovated pool at the Nelson and District Community Complex recently.

The facility is gorgeous and the staff did a really great job in getting it completed.  I and my family look forward to years of uninterrupted use.  Before the ceremony started every person was handed an information sheet with frequently asked questions on it. 

The second last question was about funding and I will quote the question and answer directly. 

“How is the RDCK paying for this project?”

“The NDCC Aquatic Centre Renewal Project has received a $4.597 million grant from the federal Gas Tax Fund – the largest grant the RDCK has received in its 50-year history.

The RDCK is contributing a further $723,000 and will not borrow to finance the project; this means that RDCK taxation will not increase in 2016.

Any money remaining from the project’s $126,000 contingency fund will go toward costs of repairs to the cardio room.”

To state that they aren’t raising taxes in 2016 to pay for this renovation, when the fact of the matter is that the RDCK raised taxes in 2013 feels totally dishonest! 

They have been collecting around $700,000 per year for the stated purpose of funding this renovation. 

The first year of taxes collected went to pay for the ceiling renovation, so by my math the RDCK has collected 2.1 million dollars since 2014 to pay for this current renovation. 

In their statement above they inform us that $723,000 has gone towards this project, and that the remaining $126,000 will go towards the cardio room.  Rather than the RDCK asking and answering their own question, here is what I’d like to ask.

What happened to the remaining 1.25 million dollars and when do they plan on repealing this tax increase that is no longer required?

I look forward to a response.

Paul Cowan, Nelson BC