Could’ve cost serious money’

Development would have taken place without the tax holidays

Editor, The News:

Re: Ridge explains 3.5% tax hike (The News, May 7).

Paul Gill must have misunderstood the question. The cost of the downtown incentive program, as the cost is far from zero.

The whole idea was to give developers an incentive to build in the core by giving them savings. If they get savings, we, the taxpayers, are getting dinged. And depending on one’s perspective, it could add up to serious money.

Cuts in permit and DCC charges probably added up to tens of thousands of dollars. However, the major cost to taxpayers is the loss of tax revenue for the three- to four- year term.

Some would like to suggest that without the incentive program none of the $140 million worth of projects would have been built. In reality, most, if not all of the projects would probably have been built, just over a different time period.

Based on my calculations, the municipality is losing $420,000 in tax revenue annually due to the tax free holiday included in the program, or $1.26 million over three years.

Graham Mowatt

Maple Ridge