MAYOR HOPELESS – I think congratulations are in order! The city has successfully managed to keep the property tax increase for 2018 under the rate of inflation in Venezuela plus one percent.

COUNCILLOR BULLSHIT – All well and good, but the burden of the increase still falls unfairly on the shoulders of residential property owners as opposed to greedy commercial operators.

COUNCILLOR COALMAN – What Councillor Bullshit seems to conveniently misunderstand is that commercial taxes are already 3.5 times residential taxes. Twenty years ago the ratio stood at 2.5. By not increasing commercial taxes by the same percentage as residential taxes, we are simply bringing the two tax rates into better alignment.

MAYOR HOPELESS – On this one, I’ve got to say I agree with Councillor Coalman. We must remember that times are tough for downtown businesses.

COUNCILLOR LUSCIOUS – Have you noticed the small shops seem to be dropping like flies? She She Shoes, Pacific Trekking, The Adventures of Plain Jane . . .

COUNCILLOR MADDOG – Retirement sales, or so the signs say. Bankruptcy is probably closer to the truth.

COUNCILLOR LUSCIOUS – You should see some of the incredible deals I’ve been able to scoop up in the last couple of months!

COUNCILLOR JOE THORNTON – I never even think of stepping through the door unless it’s SEVENTY PERCENT OFF THE ENTIRE STORE.

ZORBA THE GREEK – Do you know how much money I grossed last year, Madame Mayor?

MAYOR HOPELESS – I have no idea, Zorba.

ZORBA THE GREEK – Eighty thousand dollars.

MAYOR HOPELESS – Really? That is gross.

COUNCILLOR LOVEFLAKE – Ben, I thought you told me that all small business owners are multimillionaires?

COUNCILLOR BULLSHIT – I think what I said, Jer, was that there are a hell of a lot more voters who pay residential taxes than voters who pay commercial taxes, so if you have to piss somebody off, it might as well be small business owners.

COUNCILLOR LOVEFLAKE – But what if the city hadn’t paid so much out in severance packages to staff and the CUPE contract hadn’t been quite so generous? Do you think taxes would have had to go up so much?

COUNCILLOR BULLSHIT – That’s a very dangerous line of reasoning, Jer. By the way, I’ve talked with the bosses and they’d like you to come in for some retraining this weekend.

COUNCILLOR LOVEFLAKE – But you know I never work on weekends, Ben.

COUNCILLOR BULLSHIT – Considering the election is just around the corner, and the Victoria Labour Council has a mailing list of twenty thousand, you might want to make an exception this one time.