Letter: ‘Stealth’ taxation criticized

…charges for government services are set many times higher than the actual cost of providing the service.

To the editor:

In his column about the new ePassport, MP Ron Cannan enthusiastically states a five-year passport will cost $120.

This is a prefect example of the “new taxation” model that governments increasingly use, where charges for government services are set many times higher than the actual cost of providing the service.

In the case of passports, as recently as the late 1980s, a five-year passport cost a mere $25. The effort needed to issue a passport has not changed much since then, but it now costs almost five times more—an increase far higher than inflation.

A similar situation occurs with drivers licenses. It is estimated that it costs the B.C. government about $10 to process a drivers license, yet we are charged $85. This unconscionable “stealth taxation,” where government services are used as cash cows, has got to stop.

Robert Wilson,

Kelowna