Letters

Who is paying the taxes

November 16, 2017

To the Editor,

Always lots of speculation on this topic…at the recent OMB hearing I heard that cottagers pay 80 to 85 per cent of the taxes in Hastings Highlands, a disproportionate amount in relation to the non-seasonal group.

It’s bunk and I challenge anyone to write a rebuttal. But a caution: Don’t respond with anything but fact based evidence.

So here is our latest taxation data for 2016 from MPAC and their forecast for the 2018 election on the prospective voter list for HH. That for me is the connection: if taxpayers are paying 85 per cent of the costs and only have 50 per cent of the vote, it’s a problem. If it’s generally matched: what’s your beef?

$4,036,042 of $6,621,691 or 61 per cent of the 2016 municipal levy is funded by single family detached on water as well as seasonal/recreational dwellings

$2,404,927 of $6,621,691 or 36 per cent of the 2016 municipal levy is funded by residential assessment not on waterfront (the residual  three percent is farm, commercial, industrial which is not a significant part of the argument as only farms have electors). So put this three per cent with the 36 per cent above

MPAC estimates a total of 8,866 eligible electors for our municipal vote next October

5,446 or 61 per cent of electors are “non-residents”

3,420 or 39 per cent of electors are “residents”

Now before you write a rebuttal I do understand that the definitions are slightly different and there are permanent folks on the waterfront, but that is a non-argument in my view, unless you can find the data above using exactly the same definition. But remember most government agencies (Canada Post, Hydro One, MPAC) have not embraced the fact that you can split your time between residences. Strange.

“Non-nesidents” don’t vote? That’s their problem and they will have new options in 2018 that don’t require a trip to the cottage after it is closed on Thanksgiving weekend.

You don’t like the fact that waterfront properties are roughly double the assessment of non-waterfront? Get yourself a farm and farm number and you can reduce your property taxes substantially — by working dawn to dusk every day of the year. Or try an MPAC appeal.

You want to eliminate the provincial and county portion of your taxes? Not my department; call County Warden Rodney Cooney or the premier, Kathleen Wynne. But don’t wait up for a call back

Approximately 61 per cent of electors pay 61 per cent of the municipal taxes. The above thanks to good research work by staff at Hastings Highlands.

Bill Cheshire

Baptiste Lake

         

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