Homeowners should have been consulted before council changed water tax exemption



SaltWire Network



Thank you for your JEERS to St. John’s City Council for the way the water tax exemption was removed from legal unrented apartment units in St. John’s. Previously, home owners claiming the water tax exemption filed a form yearly indicating their unit was not rented. The form included the provision that the city could inspect the unit at any time to insure the exemption was true. Although my water tax is only $40 (others pay more), we faithfully filed the form and made our legal basement unit in the home we have owned since 1998 available to family members in Canada and the U.S., friends and their children visiting St. John’s, choirs participating in local competitions and people visiting Memorial University. Some of those downstairs friends have returned to St. John’s and become fans of Newfoundland! The new rules require a homeowner wishing to qualify for the water tax exemption for making their unit available for free to disconnect the stove using a qualified electrician. Of course that would cost more than $40. Who thought up this unnecessary and indeed insulting regulation? Why weren’t compliant homeowners consulted? After all, we had signed a form indicating we did not object to inspection... Thanks again for your sensible JEER. Miriam Simpson St. John’s