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General News · 22nd August 2017
Sue Ellingsen
Hi Folks. Some people may have missed the opportunity to sign the petition recently circulated by Gail Ringwood, Sue Ellingsen and John Sprungman with the assistance of Wilson Baker, Jim Murphy and Lorna Kendel.

It states: “Petition to the Strathcona Regional District Board of Directors supporting funding of Cortes Community Halls through taxation and to this end to fund a Referendum, thereby knowing the wishes of Cortes community residents and property owners! I am a resident and/or property owner on Cortes B.C. and 18 years or older.”

You can still sign and join the 400 other residents and property owners who have signed in support of the principle of tax funding and of holding a referendum which is a legal way to decide this issue under provincial law. This petition is being spearheaded by the three people named above, not by a community association. We have sought the support of all Cortes residents and property owners who care about the long-term sustainability of Manson’s Hall and the Gorge Hall. Of the 400+ who signed in the first 10 days, 265 are property owners and 72 live in the Whaletown/Gorge Harbour area. We do not know when the referendum would be held but are asking our Regional Director and the SRD to act as quickly as is feasible to determine a specific tax proposal, in consultation with the relevant organizations and the community at large, and present it for a vote.

I will be at the Friday market from 12 to 1 for the convenience of those who have not yet had an opportunity to add your name to the petition asking the SRD for a referendum to allow us to vote on the hall tax support issue. See you there. Sue

For more information or to add your support, you can contact Sue at 250-935-6545, Gail at 250-935-6960 or John at 250-935-6332.
South Cortes C. A.
Comment by Walker Evans on 25th August 2017
If this really is going to referendum then it should only be those living in the south end that should be asked to pay. I have no use for Mansons Hall and haven't been inside it since 1992. USER PAY !
Economics and everybody’s vote matters
Comment by Romina on 23rd August 2017
People who rent but do not own are valuable members of the community and an essential part of the island’s economy deserving a vote. Renters do contribute to property taxes as that cost along with all others is calculated into the rental price by a landlord. Tenants across the island in small ways and large contribute towards paying for many Cortesian properties. In-fact numerous homeowner’s income or mortgage payments are reliant on these renters. If their attraction to stay and invest on island is affected by lack of community resources that very much affects property owners who rent. In addition, as a property owner myself I utilize many on-island goods and services and my ability to do so is dependent on working families being able to not just survive but thrive here. Lack of community spaces, activities and events affects me even if I never set foot in the hall because I know my paramedic or plumber and their families do use it.
Can we get over the idea that renters don't pay tax?
Comment by Mary Clare Preston on 23rd August 2017
The idea that renters don't pay tax is not totally accurate. Renters make monthly payments to their landlords. Landlords pay property tax. Landlords have the capital to make down payments in order to purchase property. Renters don't. Somehow the mortgage gets paid, property tax gets paid etc. Often those payments are covered by the rent. The mortgage gets paid by the renter. At the end of the day when the agreement ends the renter has no asset, the landlord does. This is huge. What ever your feelings about whether this is an equitable relationship don't kid yourself that renters don't pay. Renters and Landlords alike we are all part of this community, we will all benefit from supporting collective wellbeing.
Thank you
Comment by Ashley on 22nd August 2017
Thank you for advertising this petition as I was previously unaware of it. I think more people would sign it if they knew about it. Maybe it should be advertised on posters around the island too?
40 % vote but without consequence?
Comment by Carol on 22nd August 2017
Thank you for providing the statistic that only 265 of the 400+ who have signed to support the petition are property owners. So, roughly 40% of the signatures are from people voting in favor of a tax they won't pay, is that correct? How can that be right?
Let’s be forthright.
Comment by Wendy L on 22nd August 2017
On August 9 the SCCA presented a Motion ...”to initate a referendum process for a Cortes Island Community HALL through property taxation.”

As non-members were forced to be quiet during the discussion, the SCCA Resolution was amended to say “ HALLS” ostensibly to match the wording of the YES petition circulating.

It is my understanding that neither the Klahoose First Nation nor the Executive of the Whaletown Community Club/Gorge Hall have given their informed consent to be included in your proposed tax.