Letter to the editor – property tax revenue


Dear Editor,

On March 27, 2019, I submitted a summary of my comments at the March 20 Committee of the Whole meeting concerning the budget. One of those comments was concerning the large increase from 2014 to 2019 in property tax revenue, which totaled 45% over the five years in question. Population has gone up approximately 7% over the same period, and inflation has increased approximately 8% (numbers from the municipality). So, the net increase in property taxes. taking into account growth and inflation. is 30%, or 6% every year. Add back in inflation, and the five year increase in your tax bill is 38%, or 7.6% every year. Is your income going up by 7.6% every year?

Where did all these new property taxes come from? What’s happening here is that the average property assessment has gone up far beyond inflation. The actual increase in your property taxes is determined by a combination of: 1) the MPAC property assessed value; plus 2) the property tax rate increase imposed by the municipality (1.5% in 2019). Is this fair to property taxpayers? At these rates, in 5 more years, the average Canadian family’s property tax bill of $4700/year, which I believe is similar to North Grenville’s average property tax bill, will be $6486/year. By 2030, $8629/year.

Why don’t we compare these increases to some other things? I will use the 38% increase over five years because it more accurately reflects perceptions of price increases.

A) If the HST (13%) went up by 38% since 2014, it would now be 18%; and in 5 more years it would be 23%. By 2030, the HST would be 29% of everything you purchase.

B) The average Canadian family in 2019 spends 44.2% of their income on taxes. A 38% increase in the next five years would mean that in 2024, the average Canadian family would spend 61% of their income on taxes. By 2030, the average Canadian family would spend 81% of their income on taxes.

C) The average 2019 CPP payout is $679.16 per month. The average CPP payout has been increasing at a rate of around 2.26% per year. Using these numbers, by 2030 it would be $848 per month or $10,176 per year, which will be just enough to cover a retiree’s property tax bill of $8629 in 2030, assuming the CRA doesn’t claw back too much in income tax. I guess a retiree living alone will have to live on OAS ($607.46/ month in 2019) which, by 2030 (if it matches the 2.26% increase per year of CPP), will be an average of $758 per month. Gee, I hope mac and cheese and gas doesn’t go up too much in the next 11 years. By the way, approximately 70% of Canadians don’t have a defined benefit pension.

If you’re concerned about the unacceptable increases in your property taxes, tell your councillors what you think about it. If you’re interested in adding your voice to this issue, or would like to help in establishing a group to discuss and deal with tax and fiscal issues, you can contact me at [email protected].

Stephen Hammond


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