Richmond, BC -- A hefty tax bill prompted Catalyst Paper to call on the government to recognize its efforts to reduce costs. Catalyst's 2008 property tax bill for its five B. C. divisions rolled in at a cool $30 million -a sum that nearly parallels the company's capital spending for the same facilities in 2008.
"Reinvesting in our mills to better meet the requirements of a much more competitive world is very difficult in the current business climate," president and CEO Richard Garneau said. "Elsewhere, paper mill taxes are based on services provided by the municipality rather than on assessed property values which, in our case, show major industry taxpayers heavily subsidize the residential class."
Catalyst dolls out double the B. C. industry average in property tax per tonne of production, and roughly three times more per tonne than the North American average. In meetings held with municipalities, Catalyst has called on civic leaders to exhibit similar financial responsibility as it has demonstrated. It is appealing for a provincial policy that would level the playing field for all tax classes.