Water metering not simply a tax grab

There may be reasons to criticize the metering effort in terms of its troubled implementation but not in terms of the principle involved.

Dear Editor:

Last week, you published a letter criticizing our local government for its effort to meter water usage in Summerland and charge people on the basis of their consumption.

There may be good reason to criticize that effort in terms of its  troubled implementation but not in terms of the principle involved.

Apparently,  last week’s correspondent thinks that any revenue collected by government is a tax. Hence, any attempt to put in a more rational pricing scheme for public services — including fee for service where it can be done — is simply another revenue grab.

This argument is woefully simplistic and does great disservice to an important debate.

Where the technology exists to charge me for my particular water consumption habits rather than have my neighbour subsidize me — or vice versa — I see absolutely no argument in support of the current flat fee system.

Indeed, I am surprised our critic did not go on to suggest that we should stop metering electricity consumption as well and simply move to a per capita charge.

The broad debate about levels of taxation generally is far too important to be trivialized by a muddled argument aimed at user fees.

Years ago, the Secretary of the Treasury Board in Ottawa (the federal government department concerned with expenditure management) had a sign over his desk which read, “Any government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take everything you’ve got.”

Think about it.

Mark R. Daniels

Summerland

 

Just Posted

115 new wildfires burning across B.C. due to 19,000 lightning strikes

More fires expected to start today, says BC Wildfire Service officials

B.C. Wildfire Service responding to Cawston area fire

A Thursday afternoon thunderstorm is suspected to be the cause of a wildfire near Cawston

RDOS board investigates using Penticton admin building

Regional elected officials voted to have new board look at feasibility of a joint admin building

Severe thunderstorm watch issued for the Okanagan

Possible rainfall rates of up to 25 milimetres in one hour.

Penticton Art Gallery auction ranges from the iconic to the obscure

The Penticton Art Gallery is holding it’s largest fundraiser of the year June 28.

Humans locked in for love at Kelowna Shelter

BC SPCA Lock-In for Love hopes to raise $25,000

Fireworks and fires over a half-metre banned Friday in Kamloops centre

B.C. Wildfire Service banning to category 2 and 3 fires in Kamloops Fire Centre at noon Friday

Rescued Oregon family simply unprepared for adventure, RCMP say

Agencies now helping the group of four get to their destination in Alaska

Large B.C. tree dies after possible poisoning

Police and District investigate after large chestnut tree’s rapid decline

Rural Oliver cannabis production facility gets go ahead

RDOS directors voted to allow a variance permit for a rural Oliver medical cannabis facility

Canucks release 2018-19 season schedule

Vancouver to face Calgary Flames on Wednesday, Oct. 3, for home opener

VIDEO: Luxury Home and Design Show opens with Italian flare

Event set to run Friday to Sunday at BC Place in Vancouver

Small new charge on BC Hydro bills goes toward new crisis fund

The new fund aims to help customers who find themselves in financial emergencies

UPDATED: Crown appeals B.C. polygamous leader’s acquittal in child bride case

James Oler had been charged with taking his underage daughter to the U.S. to marry her off

Most Read