LETTER: Realtor's comments on school tax a 'tragic reminder'

Dear Editor:

Allan Angell’s comments that the “NDP should be shot” and the resulting “hear, hear” from the crowd is a tragic reminder that, as the famous economist Thomas Picketty wrote, “No hypocrisy is too large when elites are forced to justify their positions”.

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The hand does indeed close inward.

This housing market has increased homeowner’s equity beyond what anyone could ever have imagined. As an owner of a real estate brokerage, Mr. Angell has been one of the biggest beneficiaries from this phenomenal rising real estate market, and it shameful that he is the most vocal against a relatively small increase in education levy.

From my understanding, this school tax has existed for decades by the same name, and is not new. What has changed is a recent rate adjustment on properties valued over $3 million (i.e. the additional tax on a $3.25M home is $500 per year, not $6,500 per year).

No doubt, this housing market is affecting us all on the North Shore. Our prioritiy as citizens should be, first and foremost, with helping those who are truly affected most by this housing bubble. These are the people who work on the North Shore but are unable to afford to either purchase housing or find adequate rental accommodation to meet their family’s needs. They are being forced to leave their North Shore community, adding to the daily commuter congestion to and from the North Shore. We all know too well that this is neither good for business, our environment, nor our community.

Shouldn’t our vision be broader and look toward the wider community from which we all derive great benefits? These benefits include a well-funded education system, transit enhancements to provide options for commuters, and measures which at least attempt to address the acute shortage of affordable housing.

Angela Girard
North Vancouver

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