Should property taxes fund the Hospice?

The following are comments on funding the Hospice by David Daniels.

THE HOSPICE

I generally support the hospice, but there are a number of issues which the Town may wish to explore before “committing” taxpayer dollars.

I have been told that in the past the “community” has supported health care initiatives.  What I don’t know is whether that “community support” took the form of community members volunteering time and money, or did the municipalities contribute taxpayers’ dollars directly?

The project was presented as a single package.  But in fact is made up of two projects: upgrading the hospital facilities and equipment and constructing a stand alone hospice.  Can one be funded and not the other?

Councilor Laceby suggesting the Town support the project by matching public contributions.  I do not recall this suggestion being discussed in any detail.  (The comment was made: “what would happen if someone contributed a million dollars?”  The simple answer is that the town could limit the amount it will match.)

Finally, it is not clear whether the Town has the legal authority to “commit” tax payer dollars, even for a worthy cause, beyond a single fiscal year, let alone for eight years in a row.

We think it is a dangerous precedent for the Town to start funding charitable organizations, all of which may be worthy. Is the Food Bank not worthy? Is the Baptist Church not worthy? Would each taxpayer get a charitable receipt?

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One response to “Should property taxes fund the Hospice?

  1. Two relevant reports are:
    http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hcs-sss/pubs/palliat/2007-soin_fin-end_life/index-eng.php
    and
    http://www.parl.gc.ca/35/1/parlbus/commbus/senate/Com-e/euth-e/rep-e/LAD-TC-E.HTM

    I am greatly conflicted on this sort of stuff. As a matter of law and practice, this issue seems to be the responsibility of Federal and Provincial governments.

    If municipalities are to assume a significant role in our health care system, then perhaps we should broaden the discussion further. Privatization anyone?