01/30/2008

Re: Municipal spending is out of control, Commentary, Tuesday January 29, 2008
Editor
Financial Post


Re: Municipal spending is out of control, Commentary, Tuesday January 29, 2008

Kevin Gaudet, Ontario Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, fails to compare apples to apples when he laments about the high cost of property taxes in Ontario.

Ontario property taxpayers fund Provincial Government programs and services to an extent that would shock other Canadians.  In fact almost half of every property tax dollar collected in Ontario flows through municipalities to pay for Provincial Government programs and services, such as education, social assistance, long-term care for seniors, public health, ambulance services, child care and social housing.

According to Statistics Canada data, Ontarians pay approximately $237 more per person in property taxes than property tax payers in the rest of Canada. At the same time, the Ontario Government spends $258 less per person on health and social services programs than other provinces. There is a direct correlation between Ontario’s high property taxes and the Ontario Government’s unique reliance on property tax revenue.

Ontario municipalities perform admirably in a direct dollar-for-dollar comparison of municipal costs for municipal services.

Municipalities are currently working with the Ontario Government to develop a new fiscal relationship that considers affordability, sustainability and the delivery of quality services. Success is vital to the quality of Ontario’s environment, infrastructure, public services and prosperity.

Signed by:
   
Doug Reycraft
Mayor of the Municipality of Southwest Middlesex and 
President of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario