Ralph Klein has gone and it is time to retire Ralph's World. Thanks to all of you who have supported this venture by contributing material and through your comments. It has been fun.

Should we get another blog underway? Let me know your thoughts by e-mailing me at johnnyslow@gmail.com.

John Slow
January 1, 2007

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Taxed to Death 

Low Taxes a Myth, Except for the Rich - Catherine Ford - Calgary Herald - February 1, 2004

Have a look (click here) at this column by Catherine Ford then read my response.

Catherine, I enjoyed your Sunday column on supposedly low Alberta taxes. Will you be doing a follow up on the additional hidden and not so hidden taxes like the so-called provincial government initiated "fair assessment" property taxes which unfairly target seniors living in what were once considered suburbs but are now taxed as inner city gold mines? Their houses haven't improved but their property value has sky rocketed which may help their children if they bulldoze the family home but it sure doesn't help the senior trying to hold out as long as they can prior to being forced to move into a long term care facility where rents have recently jumped by over 50% to quickly suck up the remainder of their life's savings.

Hopefully if you do a follow up article on taxes you will also add on the not so hidden health care premiums which are worse than the flat tax because with very few bureaucratic triplicate form filling exemptions, they are the same for those on fixed income as they are for Alberta's wealthy elite. This promise breaking tax grab at the expense of the poor and middle classes adds $900 million annually to the provincial general revenue pot which is a much more untraceable " black hole" than our Premier's recent summation of national health care sustainability costs.

Please also include in your hidden taxes category P3 leases which conveniently never show up on government debt ledgers but require Albertans to pay long term rents such as the soon to open South Link Health Centre for which we will be forced to pay an initial upgrading and equipping $10 million fee for a privately owned facility as well as an additional $10 million rent after ten years for a facility we could have built and owned as a sustainable investment for the same $20 million dollars that we're paying in upgrades and rent. Rather than investing for the future the Klein government is forcing Albertans to prop up private for profit companies with our hard earned public dollars in a rent but never own money pit.

Harry B. Chase

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