Open fo­rum to dis­cuss mu­nic­i­pal tax­a­tion

Northern News (Kirkland Lake) - - FRONT PAGE - BRAD SHER­RATT

KIRK­LAND LAKE - On Tues­day, the pub­lic is be­ing in­vited to Her­itage North for a town hall style meet­ing. The meet­ing is de­signed so that CAO Pe­ter Av­goustis can dis­cuss the mod­ern­iza­tion of the mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s tax pol­icy.

Ac­cord­ing to town of­fi­cials there has been a lot of con­fu­sion since Av­goustis first an­nounced the fo­rum.

Ac­cord­ing to an in­for­ma­tion re­lease on the Town of Kirk­land Lake web­site the meet­ing is “An op­por­tu­nity for prop­erty own­ers across all of Kirk­land Lake to come hear a pre­sen­ta­tion and have in­put.” and it should be noted no de­ci­sions will be made at the meet­ing.

The re­lease goes on to say the mod­er­iza­tion pol­icy “t will af­fect ev­ery­one in Swastika, Cha­put Hughes, Kirk­land Lake in ad­di­tion to those in Har­vey Kirk­land, Bern­hardt & Mor­risette.

The mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s tax pol­icy is de­signed to look at the eq­uity in the way prop­erty taxes are dis­trib­uted.

Cur­rently there are three ar­eas of Kirk­land Lake that pay dif­fer­ent taxes and re­ceive dif­fer­ent ser­vices. Kirk­land Lake, Cha­put Hughes, Swastika and Har­vey Kirk­land are all taxed at 100 per cent while Bern­hardt & Mor­risette are taxed at 35 per cent.

Town of­fi­cials stress this is not a way to make ex­tra money, This is about re­dis­tribut­ing the prop­erty taxbur­den in a fair and eq­ui­table man­ner across Bern­hardt, Mor­risette, Cha­put Hughes, Swastika, Kirk­land Lake and Har­vey Kirk­land.”

Of­fi­cials say they are re­view­ing the pol­icy be­cause it’s been 33 years since the an­nex­a­tion of Bern­hardt and Mor­risette town­ships and a lot of changes have been made in leg­is­la­tion, fund­ing of ser­vices and in­di­vid­ual neigh­bour­hoods.

Av­goustis will make a pre­sen­ta­tion to coun­cil and a de­ci­sion will be made ei­ther that month of in Jan­uary.

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