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Business groups quick to protest taxes, not so visible when they’re getting a break

January 12th, 2010 · 16 Comments

The region’s business groups have been out in force the past week, protesting TransLink’s parking-stall tax, complete with all the doodads of a contemporary marketing campaign (social media, instant ways to blast your local politician) and their research that proves, as it always does, that businesses are being done in by evil cash-grabbing governments.

Business groups have been wildly successful in recent years getting governments to scale back on their taxes, using those arguments. But they might want to consider ensuring that their campaign also includes thank-you notes after the fact.

It was noted with some resentment around Vancouver city hall, as budget mayhem was swirling before Christmas, that business groups were noticeable by their absence over the several nights of public speakers on the budget.

That left politicians, who were giving them a tax break of millions of dollars through the shift of business taxes to residential, to take a few tonnes of steaming flak from the public while those benefiting — with the exception of the indefatigable Bob Laurie — didn’t bother to show up and make their traditional argument about why this tax shift was so necessary.

Vancouver businesses can expect that they may not get such an automatic pass from council next time around.

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