06/29/2006

Toronto, Ontario, June 29, 2006 –The Government of Ontario today announced that it would cancel the 2006 and 2007 property reassessments to allow the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) time to implement the recommendations of the Provincial Ombudsman.
AMO President Roger Anderson said, “Any change to the property tax system, even a temporary freeze to the tax base, inevitably has some sort of impact on property taxes and municipal budgets.  We will want to carefully evaluate the implications of today’s announcement, as municipalities have made capital and operating budget assumptions and have long-term capital investment plans to support infrastructure renewal.” 

As important as assessment is, it is tax policy that ultimately determines the outcome for the taxpayer and the services they expect.  “Only in Ontario is there a heavy reliance on the property tax base to pay for provincial social and health programs.  It is widely recognized that the property tax burden is unsustainable and until we address this problem, there is no total or lasting solution,” said Anderson.  

While the current Government has made a number of important improvements to provincial/municipal cost sharing arrangements, over $3 billion in municipal property taxes go to fund provincial programs such as disability and drug benefits, social housing and long-term care.  Another $6 billion in property taxes flow to the Provincial Government to fund education.  That leaves about fifty cents of every dollar of property taxes collected for municipal services such as public safety and infrastructure.

Created by provincial statute, the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) provides assessment services in accordance with provincial regulation.   

AMO is a non-profit organization representing almost all of Ontario’s 445 municipal governments.  AMO supports and enhances strong and effective municipal government in Ontario and promotes the value of municipal government as a vital and essential component of Ontario and Canada’s political system.

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