Vampire or Zombie... you decide 

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Frankly I'm perplexed. Puzzled. Mystified. Try as I might, I just can't choose an answer. I've winnowed the possibilities down to two but as soon as I pick one, I start thinking the other might be better.

I've come to the conclusion you should decide. Yes, you; the collective and individual community of true-blue Whistleratics. After all, who more than you know most about our happy mountain home?

The question? Is Whistler Sport Legacies (WSL) in general, and the Whistler Sliding Centre (White Elephant) in particular, more like a vampire or a zombie?

Vampires, as we all know, are a subset of the Living Dead. They rise from their coffins, and restlessly roam the night, sucking the blood from unsuspecting sleeping persons. You have to drive a stake through the heart of a sleeping vampire to kill it.

Zombies are also a subset of the Living Dead. Zombies just wander brainlessly around — not unlike the crowds in the village after last call — sucking the brains out of living people, often their friends. You can kill zombies with anything, but shotguns seem to be the weapon of choice.

So why are WSL and the White Elephant either vampires or zombies? Good question.

With not much else to do up at Smilin' Dog Manor, I was re-reading the August 9 Pique for something like the eighth time, by which point I'd read pretty much everything except some of the ads that don't include skimpily-clad women. I spotted a notice from the RMOW deceptively entitled "Permissive Exemptions Bylaws." Thinking it might have something to do with escort services, I read it only to discover it listed various pieces of property within the RMOW that were given exemptions from paying 2013 property taxes. Mine wasn't listed; neither, I suspect, was yours.

But the White Elephant was, for $306,760. So was the High Performance Centre and Lodge down in Cheakamus Crossing, $36,353. Ditto the WSL Athlete's Accommodation, $24,332.

In total, WSL's properties will not pay the RMOW $367,445 in 2013. They didn't pay any property tax this year either. Or the year before, or the year before, or.... And it may get worse. The next column in the notice suggests the trio might be off the hook in 2014 and 2015 to the tune of $734,891. I can feel the blood being sucked from sleeping taxpayers.

Now the good news is — and I'm stretching the definition — those numbers seem to suggest the RMOW isn't going to raise our property taxes in the next three years. The bad news is they could lower our property taxes if WSL would man up and pay their property taxes instead of acting like vampires.


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