CSRD has passed Shuswap Watershed Council Service Area Establishment Bylaw No. 5705, that will force a parcel tax on all residents of CSRD to fund the organization previously known as SLIPP (Shuswap Lake Integrated Planning Process), now known as Shuswap Watershed Council Service. This, financially speaking, has gone from volunteerism to large grants to now the proposed parcel tax of $180,000 annually.
The alternative approval process in place provides that if 10 per cent of eligible property owners within CSRD submit an opposition form available from the CSRD website, that it would force a referendum on the matter.
By submitting the available form to CSRD no later than Nov. 17, you will be forcing the regional government to take this issue to the people as a referendum.
I feel that this bylaw has been ill thought out and, as it reflects a permanent and costly addition to your annual tax bill, should not be supported. This bylaw creates another bureaucracy to our already heavily laden regional governance that should not exist at taxpayers’ expense at the regional level.
Many others and I see CSRD’s only responsibility in this matter to press the higher government departments to streamline issues regarding the watershed, not to take it over. Yes CSRD is charged with drinking water quality, and already has the necessary tools and tax funding monies to do so at present within that mandate.
Many in this area would have one believe that no one is looking after our water. That is simply untrue. We already pay taxes both federally and provincially for water quality management. We pay water taxes regionally for safe drinking water. There is only one taxpayer.