We have a great exchange here between the Mayor and city finance administration on why a flat tax is more regressive then an increase in property taxes. The mayor is kind of arguing anecdotally that people who live in expensive homes, aren’t making the most amount of money. It is true in some situations; Warren Buffet lives modestly in Omaha and the CEO of Costco lives in a simple bi-level house but statistically, people live in the biggest home they can afford.
The boat and RV argument is a weird one for me because once you do there, you can’t really go stop at just boats and RVs. Do you start to take into consideration the value of cars, golf clubs, baseball card collections or books. I spend a lot of money on books and technology so should I pay more city taxes?
Our Mayor lives at the Willows which will pay more under a property tax increase than those living in Westview will. Undoubtably he is hearing about it from his neighbours and his largely suburban electoral base who wants to pay less for roads. It’s either that or he just doesn’t understand the concepts around basic taxation. Take your pick.
Of course al valorem taxes are regressive because it isn’t based on income but it’s less regressive than a base tax which targets everyone equally regardless of income. In Saskatoon’s case, it means that 85% of households would pay more under a flat tax and the wealthiest 15% would pay less.