|The Mayor's State of the City Presentation has proven to|
be a talking point weeks after the June 28th event
It hasn't been as prominently on display as what has become a Two Part Celebration in the weekly paper of Mayor Lee Brain's State of the City Presentation of June 28th.
But tucked away in the bottom of the Letters to the Editor page from July14th, is a response to some of the Mayor's fiscal themes, with the Prince Rupert Port Authority taking up some challenge to a few of Mr. Brain's more outspoken themes of the city's fiscal woes.
|A key theme for Mayor Lee Brain's|
State of the City was focused on the Provincial Port Tax
and how it impacts on the city, a topic of interest that the Port has
provided some counter narratives towards
The letter to the paper which was authored by Ken Veldman, the Port's VP of Public Affairs and Sustainability is titled "Port Property Tax not why community is stuck" and in his review of the mayor's talking points Mr. Veldman speaks to the dramatic headline in the paper and how the Mayor's presentation may not tell the whole story.
The title to the Port correspondence refers to the Mayor's observations on the city's financials which he suggests have been hindered by the province and the Port Property Tax Act , the quote from the Mayor on the night that perhaps most caught the attention of Port officials was:
"They haven't moved on that, there's some reasons I probably shouldn't say it publicly, but this challenge the Port Property Tax Act is the number one reason why this community is stuck, we are stuck, we are not allowed to be free.
Our one legislative right is taxation, that's the only mechanism we are allowed to have under the Local Government Act and the Community charter is to collect money through taxation ..."
The political commentary from the mayor formed a narrative that channels a vision of a city council yearning to be free; the community seemingly held back by the limitations the Mayor finds in the Tax Act.
We contacted the PRPA, to look over the full correspondence towards the city's view of the Act, and from the document forwarded to us, the same which was printed in the weekly paper, Mr. Veldman offered up a few themes for consideration."While appreciating the City of Prince Rupert’s aging infrastructure represents a significant financial challenge for the municipality, the port industry is not the cause of this challenge. In the past 15 years, the City’s total tax revenue from port industries has more than tripled to over $12 million and made up more than 45% of the City’s net tax revenue in 2021.