Kudos to Taylor, shame on Fort St. John

Re: 'Taylor slashes 2020 tax rates', Alaska Highway News, May 12, 2020

Hats off and congratulations to the District of Taylor for their gutsy, but right move to significantly cut property taxes – an example that unfortunately the City of Fort St. John seems unable or unwilling to follow. Rather than cutting tax rates by 33-95% like Taylor, the City has opted to “hold the line.” Many businesses in particular were already heavily stressed with the downturn in the forestry and oil and gas sector – now COVID to top it all off.

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I shudder to think of the number of Mom and Pop businesses that will likely be closing, the oilfield service companies and forestry dependant businesses, the millions of dollars entrepreneurs have invested here, only to see the value of their businesses, development property, etc. go up in smoke.

And what does Fort St. John Council do? Kick off a plan to borrow millions for a new RCMP building, three storeys, “eco-friendly”, with an admitted 20% room for error. Can anyone say Fire Hall? Does anyone wonder at the $1 million gift to the Budnick family for the Condill Hotel?

This council is so totally out of touch with reality it’s heart-breaking. Where are the tough-minded business people that we need for leadership now? I guess they’re all in Taylor.

— Steve Thorlakson, Fort St. John

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