09/07/2007

Toronto, Ontario, September 7, 2007 – AMO is calling on the Federal Government to drop its appeal against a Federal Court ruling ordering Crown corporations to make payments in lieu of property taxes more on par with true property tax values.
“AMO strongly supports the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ position that the Federal Government should support the communities they operate in with payments that reflect actual property tax value,” said AMO President Doug Reycraft.  “It costs municipalities just as much to service Crown properties as it does privately owned ones.  Having the community at large subsidize Crown buildings is not good public policy and not in line with the Canadian Government’s commitment to support municipal infrastructure.”

The Federal Government does not pay property taxes to municipalities anywhere in the country, but makes ‘payments in lieu’ of property taxes to provide the funding needed to meet the additional demand on municipal infrastructure and services.  Payments in lieu rates, however, are determined unilaterally by the Federal Government and do not correspond to what property tax charges would be for similar buildings. 

On August 31, 2007, Federal Court Justice Luc Martineau ruled in three cases between the City of Montreal and the Federal Government deciding that federal officials cannot unilaterally determine what their payments to a city will be. This landmark decision represents the first time that the constitutional immunity of Federal tax laws was brought before the courts. 

“It is important that all property owners pay their fair share of municipal property taxes so that municipalities have the resources they need to build strong and sustainable communities,” said Reycraft.  “The Court has ruled that communities hosting federal facilities should not be disadvantaged and AMO hopes the Federal Government will respect that decision and withdraw its appeal”.

AMO is a non-profit organization representing almost all of Ontario’s 445 municipal governments.  AMO supports 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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