Vote no to Camps Bay CID

Anthony Pamm, Camps Bay

I stand by the thrust (that the proposed Camps Bay CID is a bad idea which should not be implemented) and content of my previous letter (“Mixed views on CID”, Atlantic Sun letters, October 19) and am not at all persuaded by the response to it from Spencer McNally, chairperson of the CID Steering Committee (“Yes to Camps Bay CID“, Atlantic Sun letters, October 26).

The precise number of those who will be negatively affected, against their will, by the compulsory additional rates charge to be imposed by the CID cannot be precisely measured at this stage but I remain of the opinion that many unwilling persons will unnecessarily suffer from it.

Irrespective of the actual number, the relevant issue is that not even one unwilling person should be subjected to this unwanted and unwarranted imposition and be forced to subsidize the desires of others in this particular case, where there are better alternatives potentially available.

Mr McNally has incorrectly (by not quoting me in full) said that I have contradicted myself.This is not so.

The point made by me was that the majority (if such exists) will be abusing the minority if the majority forces an unwilling minority to monetarily subsidise the desires of the majority in a situation where there are better alternatives available which will not impose on the minority.

The CID’s compulsory add-on to existing municipal rates costs might start at 14.6% but who knows where it will end up in the future (perhaps the 25% mentioned by Mr McNally as being paid elsewhere?).

I disagree with Mr McNally’s assertion that an additional 14.6 % add on to the existing very high rates already being paid in Camps Bay is “very reasonable”, especially in a situation where the CID will be substituting (at additional ratepayer expense) for the City and the SA Government not doing what they should already be doing; and which they have already been paid to do from all the various rates and taxes (also including Income Tax and VAT) already being paid by Camps Bay ratepayers, many of whom are already also paying for additional private security services because of the failures of the authorities to provide adequate security.

It is well known that in many areas (Camps Bay being one of them) municipal rates are more of a transfer tax than a recovery of the City’s costs applicable to the area in question and this transfer tax is not fairly based (it manifoldly violates established principles of fair taxation) since it taxes hypothetical (and often arbitrarily estimated) unrealised capital gains in full and does not take into account ability to pay out of earnings and cash flow nor the total asset and liability structure of each individual ratepayer.

If one wishes to achieve greater social equity via progressive taxation, municipal rates taxation is not the correct way to go, due to its inherent flaws.

The progressive national Income tax (with social redistribution therefrom) is the correct method.

Compulsorily adding an extra 14.6 percent on top of the very high municipal rates (and the very high transfer tax portion thereof) already being paid in Camps Bay just makes the whole situation even more inequitable. For some individual households it will certainly translate into an unaffordable, or difficult to afford, absolute monetary amount.

I regard as callous (towards these ratepayers) and self serving (for the CID) Mr McNally’s suggested solution for them to go to financial services providers to raise the extra amounts needed to fund the CID.

When one looks at the very high total quantum of municipal rates already being paid by all ratepayers in Camps Bay , an extra 14.6 % on top of the whole amount will create a very fat “golden goose” for the CID indeed.

I respectfully suggest that Camps Bay ratepayers could better spend or donate their money elsewhere. There are many worthy social causes to choose from.