Editorial: Provincial downloading of services onto property taxes unconscionable - 2019-08-28
"There is only one taxpayer" is an oft quoted phrase, most often cited by both large and small-c conservatives, this is most definitely true—but not all tax collectors are created equal. That is why The Expositor greeted the recent provincial announcement that the costs of several important public services are being downloaded onto municipal taxpayers.
The downloading announcement was made during the recent Association of Municipalities of Ontario annual gathering in Ottawa. Ontario Premier Doug Ford spoke to the AMO delegates about "getting out of your way" and "partnering" with municipalities to "find efficiencies." It was quite evident that few in the room at AMO realized what the premier was actually saying to them—that discovery was left for later on the evening news. We will leave our opinion on that tactic aside.
The reality of taxation is that municipalities have the least clout when it comes to being able to gather revenue from their communities, particularly those small rural communities to be found on Manitoulin, Northern Ontario and across the rest of the province. Federal and provincial coffers may be stretched in these days where it is all the rage to race to the bottom of corporate and wealth taxes—but they have nothing on the drum tight budgets facing most rural communities.