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Letters – for Sep. 22, 2011

Pay more for hydro, less for property tax

The Manitoba Education Financing Coalition Group wants tax to take a hike, (Sept. 1) deserves strong support from all Manitobans, including its proposal that education tax be paid with profits from Manitoba Hydro.

I doubt that the profits are lying there, ready for the taking. I expect this proposal implies that Hydro would need to increase rates. I do not think that is bad.

Taxes, of course, are there to gather revenue for government so it can carry out its functions. But taxes should be fair. I suppose at a time, many years ago, when almost 100 per cent of the taxpayers in a school district were farmers, a school tax based on property ownership would have been considered fair. This is no longer the case. With the current property-based school tax, individuals who choose to make their living as farmers are saddled with a disproportionate portion of our educational expenditures.

A good tax should encourage desirable behaviour and discourage undesirable behaviour, such as the tax on tobacco and liquor and the checkout levy on tires and certain petroleum products.

It is time to acknowledge something we all know, and that is that our reckless consumption of energy will do us in. There is an incredible convenience associated with access to cheap energy. We all love it. But we cannot go on consuming ever-increasing amounts of energy.

We love the good life but we need to learn to redefine the good life without access to cheap energy. Removing the education tax from property and offsetting that with a tax on Manitoba Hydro profits is a step in the right direction.

I am not a farmer or realtor, nevertheless I support the proposal of the Manitoba Education Financing Coalition. Eric Rempel

Steinbach

Waterlogged

We in the southwest are fed up with hearing this rubbish about the disappearing wetlands, and that the drainage must stop. It is the disappearing dry land that is the problem.

It is all very well for the people who have no money invested in this land to tell us that we can not get rid of this excess water. If the basement of their house was flooded and I told them they were not allowed to pump it out in case they flooded someone down the street, but must wait and hope it goes away on its own, what would they say?

There are thousands of acres that have been seeded and harvested for years but are now waterlogged or flooded because the sloughs are getting bigger every year, therefore damaging the roads. Why destroy the Prairies greatest land and turn it into mosquito-infested swaps? If the Dutch can grow crops and prevent flooding below sea level then surely we can do the same when we are 1,600 feet above sea level. Were there comprehensive drainage polices which lowered the water table slightly then the water would trickle away and prevent the leaching of thousands of dollars of fertilizer. John Ellis

Decker

Please forward letters to Manitoba Co-operator, 1666 Dublin Ave., Winnipeg, R3H 0H1 or Fax: 204-954-1422 or email: [email protected] (subject: To the editor)

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