Dear Editor:

Watch Penticton’s city council meeting online from Aug. 20 to see how things aren’t what they seem.

Who knew:

• An economic-incentive-zone tax abatement program administered by planner Blake Laven doesn’t really have deadlines for compliance in a governing bylaw because they’re “largely arbitrary?”

• It’s fair to ask everyone else pay about $500,000 for other property owners’ tax breaks and the city doesn’t need taxes like other government agencies?

• Coun. Judy Sentes believes bylaws are in place for a reason, with consequences for not following them, but supports extension with no consequences?

• Coun. Katie Robinson believes in exceptions to every rule and a shortage of trades causes difficulty to pay taxes. But, not to all other property owners paying taxes though?

• Coun. Julius Bloomfield’s sympathies aren’t with developers, but with the 40 people purchasing units — not the other 12,000-13,000 Penticton taxpayers?

• Coun. Campbell Watt thinks there’s not a loss, just a delay getting taxes that will never be paid once they are exempted or abated?

We do know:

• Coun. Frank Regehr believes paying our property taxes based on deadlines for payment is not “largely arbitrary.”

• Coun. Jake Kimberley believes gifting other peoples tax dollars to a select few does not control development and owners of penthouses valued at $1.2 million don’t really need a tax exemption.

Mayor John Vassilaki believes:

• Rules are laid out well and people need to follow them

• Penticton’s construction environment is no different than anywhere else

• There was extensive consultation during the OCP process and despite staff’s efforts to have the program extended and perhaps EIZs were rejected.

I believe:

• Voting to extend the time period in an economic incentive zone bylaw is supporting an EIZ.

• Staff betrayed all other taxpayers foisting yet another tax abatement on everyone else.