Pan tax idea no fairer than a win­dow tax

Matamata Chronicle - - Opinion -

There has been a lot of talk over the last week of the pro­posed pan charges dubbed ‘‘pan tax’’.

The mayor de­fends this pro­posal by say­ing, ‘‘Well why should the hospi­tal and the pub pay the same for wastew­a­ter as some­one liv­ing in town in a unit?’’

This may look like a rea­son­able point but I have to ask the mayor: Who uses the pub? Who uses the hospi­tal? These ‘‘non-res­i­den­tial’’ build­ings are pre­dom­i­nantly used by peo­ple who live in the dis­trict.

The costs will be passed on to the lo­cal peo­ple who use it. So what else can we do? Charge a fee to the tourists who come in bus­loads, spend money in the town and gen­er­ate in­come for lo­cal busi­nesses? . . . 10 cents per stool nugget per­haps? Should we em­ploy some­one to count and make sure we aren’t be­ing robbed? Ummm, not such a good idea.

OK, what about charg­ing the mo­tels?

They can pass the costs on to the cus­tomers! Ummm, aren’t we sup­posed to be en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to visit and spend money here?

Main­tain­ing the wastew­a­ter sys­tem is the re­spon­si­bil­ity of all of us and the cost needs to be shared by all of us.

No one wants to pay more taxes or fees but to un­fairly load a mi­nor­ity with the bill, which could have the net ef­fect of busi­nesses clos­ing, isn’t the so­lu­tion.

A pan tax is as fair as a win­dow tax or a stair tax.

We re­ally should move on from that, as, his­tor­i­cally, peo­ple have avoided pay­ing them as they are ridicu­lous.

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