Property Tax: Too Much Too Fast

During my weeks of door-to-door campaigning, the most often repeated complaint is that already high property taxes rise too fast. Tax growth has been excessive and I have numbers to prove it.

I dug into the budget numbers of Mississippi Mills and Lanark County—the two largest recipients of your property taxes—for the five-year period from 2006 to 2010. I then compared the tax increases against the cumulative growth of the consumer price index (inflation rate) published by StatsCan for the period from January 2006 to July 2010, which was 7.1%.

Both levels of government raise revenue from provincial and federal grants, user fees, and taxes. I looked just at tax revenue.

The cumulative average tax levy in Mississippi Mills increased 13.8% in five years, almost double the inflation rate. The cumulative tax levy for Lanark County in the same period increased 23.6% or three times the inflation rate.

Ramsay Ward has experienced higher tax hikes than the other wards. According to figures pulled together by Councillor John Edwards, the amount of taxes collected in Ramsay Ward in 2008 was 161% higher than that collected in 1997, the last year before amalgamation. The increase is due to growth, higher assessment, and tax increases. In the same period, taxes collected increased 54% in Pakenham and 43% in Almonte.

Few people are lucky enough to have incomes that climb as fast as the increase in taxes and other government imposed costs (such as hydro rates). In fact, many people told me that their salary hasn’t budged for years or their work hours were cut back. They are being squeezed.

My Position: I will encourage the new Council to limit tax increases to a rate no greater than inflation and to aim for increases that are lower than the inflation rate.


Ross Gravelle said...

Ramsay taxes you say, why I am supprised. My house has increased in assessment 78 percent since 2006I have my own well and septic. I get on a very dangerous exit of Ramsay 5A that has been the same way for 30 years. Personally for me, if there was a fire. I am 2 km from Carleton Place and 14 km from Almonte. Do I have a lot to celebrate for being part of Mississippi Mills, not for my $3,700 or $3,800. They seem to take from me every year. Shawn is the only one that came to my door. Anger over taxes. Oh you bet

Shaun McLaughlin said...

Ross you are not alone in that sentiment.