Letter: New Assiginack trailer bylaw a tax grab

A call for trailer owners and those opposing this bylaw to contact mayor and council

To the Expositor:

After learning that the Assiginack council will be implementing a trailer fee my first reaction was ‘tax grab.’ Assiginack property owners who park a trailer/RV on their land will soon be forced to pay a whopping $750 annual penalty, a fee that will not benefit the owner in any way. I personally pay high enough property taxes now for no road service, no water service, no sewer or garbage service. Now this council wants to financially punish those of us who have a trailer on their private property! Most use these trailers for seasonal/temporary use, often for family/visitors as they are perfect solutions for overflow company. They are self-contained and private.

This bylaw will additionally take away the owners’ right to place a roof over their own trailers which is needed as they frequently leak and allows for weather protection, and to place a stair/deck to make them safer to enter, especially needed for elderly guests.

My hunting friends who place trailers on their properties are all 100 percent opposed to this heavy handed law, they can’t believe this would happen. Further, many owners just park their units all winter long for summer travel or all summer for winter travel when travelling is suggested again. Do they wish to pony up for another $750 yearly fee?

If this bylaw proceeds, many will sell their units, blindsided by this unfair tax and Assiginack will gain a reputation for being an unfriendly municipality for trailer owners. Fewer will visit here as there will be a reduction of overnight accommodation, I know I will have fewer visitors to my place, meaning less spending at the local grocery stores, gas station etc., certainly not good for tourism growth .

I was told these drastic measures are to prevent some residents from living year round in these trailers. This bylaw is overkill—using a sledgehammer to kill a fly, punishing all owners and overriding our rights to stop a very small number of offenders. There are better ways to handle this minor problem. As the council, due to the lockdown have closed video meetings, they have no feedback or opposition to their decisions. Not the best time to proceed with controversial issues when the public they serve have limited opportunities to attend any meetings or discuss concerns.

During these difficult COVID times, it is unthinkable that this council would add additional financial stress to its citizens, have they no heart or conscience? The mayor should be using some creativity to reduce taxes and encourage economic growth and prosperity rather than digging deeper into our pockets. Simply terrible!

The municipality should do the right thing and stop this complicated, unwieldy, mean-spirited proposal. Where will they draw the limit? I may have second thoughts on expanding my old doghouse!

If you own a trailer or plan on purchasing one and you oppose this bylaw, phone the mayor, Dave Ham, or members of Assiginack council or email your concerns to info@assiginack.ca. This is the wrong motion at the wrong time.

J. Pidutti

Manitowaning