Kitimat politicians worry over prospect of LNG tax cap from province

A tax cap would hinder infrastructure development which would directly serve local industries, says Kitimat's mayor.

Kitimat politicians are worried over comments from Minister of Natural Gas Development Rich Coleman, who at this week’s Union of B.C. Municipalities convention warned against communities taxing LNG too high, which to some has been a hint that the province is still considering industrial tax rate caps.

Speaking to Black Press reporter Jeff Nagel at the UBCM event, Coleman spoke to the need for taxes “across the stream” to be globally competitive.

“They’ll have their mill rate, they’ll have their tax in the municipality. Our concern isn’t that, it’s a concern that what happened in some communities after resources were built, municipalities overtaxed one portion of their tax, which in a lot of cases was pulp mills,” said Coleman.

But he was certain Kitimat isn’t going to lose out on taxes.

“Kitimat will get lots of tax that will help run its community long term, so would any other community that would get it,” he said.

The notion of tax caps has never sat well with the municipal council.

Mayor Joanne Monaghan said she’s concerned that if the forthcoming tax rate from the province on LNG projects comes high that the province will try to enforce a competitiveness through a municipal tax cap.

“If they tax too much then in order to make it fair for the industries, we are going to have to tax less, then we won’t have the ability to keep up the infrastructure that will keep the industry’s happy,” she said.

She noted the community has infrastructure needs such as the Haisla Bridge, which at times has prevented shipments of equipment from crossing.

Limits on industrial taxes would prevent upgrades to things like that.

At the UBCM conference is Councillor Phil Germuth who says such a cap would have a massive impact on the town, yet would not do much overall for projects because the municipal tax rates are “so small” to a project’s overall tax bill.

He also said that in Kitimat’s 60 year history it has never been greedy in setting tax rates for industries.

Germuth is also involved with the Northwest BC Resource Benefits Alliance, and said that group is opposed to a tax cap as well. That said, the Alliance’s framework will include ways for a town to ‘top up’ lost taxes if there is a cap.

The Alliance would be funded by a portion of B.C.’s proceeds from industry taxation, he said.

– Files from Jeff Nagel

Just Posted

Kitimat arena closed until further notice due to chilling system malfunction

Saturday night’s Terrace River Kings and Kitimat Ice Demons game was cancelled as a result

Northwest Regional Airport traffic increases

LNG announcement has sparked interest

Study being conducted on proposed railyard

Facility could offload up to 60 rail cars of propane daily

UPDATE: Kitimat pool and arena evacuated due to wrong mix of chemicals

Hazmat crew sent in to determine how dangerous scene is at the Sam Lindsay Aquatic Centre

Northern First Nations partnership reshaping government’s approach to reconciliation

Kaska, Tahltan and Tlingit First Nations share Premier’s Award for Innovation with ministry

1st Indigenous woman to start Canadian airline looks to B.C.’s remote regions

Teara Fraser is the first Indigenous woman in Canada to start her own airline, called Iskwew Air

Canadian Armed Forces to change approach to sexual assault investigations

New program aimed at a more open and transparent process, will consult with civilians, health and law professionals

UPDATE: Death of 38-year-old Fernie man at B.C. coal mine under investigation

Vehicle collision occurred at approximately 10:45 a.m. Sunday morning

Breathing polluted air during pregnancy may increase odds of baby having autism: SFU study

Study looked at nearly all births in Metro Vancouver between 2004 and 2009

Six students arrested, charged in sex assault probe at Toronto all-boys school

The school’s principal, Greg Reeves, described the video of the alleged sexual assault as ‘horrific’

Bankruptcies in British Columbia on the rise

Consumer bankruptcies climbed by 6. 1 per cent in August 2018 from the same month last year.

World Toilet Day floats some serious health issues

Needs More Spikes blog finds 136 people are currently peeing in Vancouver Island city

Calgary Stampeders back to Grey Cup with 22-14 win over Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Calgary was favoured to win the 2017 and 2016 Grey Cups, but lost to the Toronto Argonauts and Ottawa Redblacks respectively.

‘A giant step forward’: new $10 bill featuring Viola Desmond to enter circulation

A new $10 banknote featuring Viola Desmond’s portrait will go into circulation, just over 72 years after she was ousted from the whites-only section of a movie theatre in New Glasgow, N.S.

Most Read