Letter: ‘Punitive taxation’ forces real farmers out

You, the general public, should be concerned about the dangerously precarious state of your food supply in B.C.

To the editor:

You, the general public, should be concerned about the dangerously precarious state of your food supply in B.C.

Most people think food comes from supermarkets not thinking for a minute that it originates from a farm. What would you do if your fresh fruit and vegetable supply were suddenly cut off?

Most of your fruit and vegetables come from California and Washington State. There are nuclear power plants there. What if suddenly there is an accident and your supply of fruit and vegetables was cut off because of radiation contamination? Would you eat them anyways and feed them to your children?

Your reaction a month ago might have been “Get real!” Now all you have to do is to go to northern Japan to get real.

What sparked this letter is some of the incompetence, mismanagement and stupidity from the top levels of government on down. Yesterday we received not one but two letters from the B.C. Assessment Authority on behalf of the government.

The letter stated in a mean, nasty and demoralizing tone, that if we do not prove to their satisfaction that we are bona fide farmers that they will impose punitive and confiscatory taxes on our farm.

This after 45 years of farming and despite the fact that we grow about 200 to 300 tons of apples a year—about one in every 400 tons in B.C.

Ninety-five per cent of our apples go to the packing house supplying many jobs. We supply thousands of people from our fruit stand with peaches, apricots, prunes, cherries and vegetables. Also we supply the food bank with thousands of pounds of fruit and vegetables. Does this sound as if we’re not bona fide farmers?

Maybe the real reason is to make it easier for the rich to force out real farmers so they can easily have their country estates, as they are the only ones who can afford the punitive taxations.

It’s time to end the punitive taxation policy. It’s just plain foolish to try and use punitive taxation to force a farm to keep producing at a loss and force them to stay in the ALR.

You wouldn’t do that to any other business, so why attack farmers that are locked in the ALR?

Kaspar and Jo-Anne Moser,

K&J Pacific Peaches,

Kelowna