I can count on one hand...perhaps half a hand...the number of times I've disagreed with Vernon councillor Bob Spiers' point of view.
After all, who wouldn't be intrigued by an individual whose tenet is:
"When an American gets mad, he says "where's my Gun".
When a Canadian gets pissed off he says
"Where is my pen, I'm going
to send a letter to the EDITOR".
When the EDITOR won't publish his letter he sets up
his own BLOG page.
When I received enough support to get a
Council Seat the dogma of the establishment became:
"Better to have him inside the tent pissing out,
than outside pissing in." (Only time will tell !)"
But today, a little bell rang alarm in my brain as I read the Morning Star's story by Rolke entitled "Casino funds pursued".
Councillor Spiers, it states, "wants a bigger piece of the action, saying the city should push for 10 per cent of the gross revenue from Lake City Casino's local operation instead of the current 10 per cent of net revenue it receives."
Two million bucks are currently collected by the City of Vernon annually; "but that could climb to $3.5 million if the formula switched to gross revenue."
Spiers' bone of contention?
"Thirty-four million (gross revenue) goes through the casino and (only) $2 million stays; the rest leaves the community."
Many many people dislike provincial and federal government(s).
Many people are against gambling, stating casinos lead to an addiction for residents, if not community crime itself.
The British Columbia Lottery Corporation is in charge of where casinos exist, how they are operated as well as lease agreements with cities. The Province also accepts some responsibility for vulnerable individuals and offers "programs" for problem gamblers.
So what's the dangerous precedent?
Well, it's not here yet, but it could be.
As a business owner--albeit private, not owned by government--it occurs to me that a city demanding a share of gross--or net revenue for that matter--is a slippery slope.
1. no government has ever met a tax it didn't like, nor a tax it didn't want to expand to others, if only "in the interests of fair play" (ahem!)
2. if casinos/gambling are considered addictive and a risk to some individuals in a community, how long until the local government, for example, decides that golf courses (due to their high use of water) are somehow detrimental to a community's well-being? How long until golf courses must contribute a higher percentage (than they already do...via income tax reporting to Canada Revenue) and contribute a percentage of revenue to a community just because they exist in the community. Because a few left-leaners have decided the business has some detrimental effects in the community?
You may scoff.
But guess what?
Years ago a private company/proprietor simply reported annual revenue (as stated above) to Canada Revenue for taxation purposes. No requirement to report either gross--or net--to the city in which the business was located! And to some degree, that remains the case (if it were not for the following):
Unless you're a business owner, you will be surprised (or perhaps not!) to learn the B.C. Assessment Authority has, for quite a few years, been enabled by provincial legislation to ask for--and receive--business gross income, ostensibly to help their assessors determine an accurate value of the business' worth for local property tax categorization. Prior to that, a private business was just that...private...except for annual Federal reporting requirements.
Could the desire to receive additional casino funds extend to private businesses in that community?
"I wouldn't bet against it," Kia would've said.
Gambling is a lower risk than what we face from insatiable governments...at all levels.
Hope you're watching which direction the pissing goes, Bob.