Ex­po­nen­tial tax in­creases

The Glengarry News - - The Opinion Page - News The Glen­garry

Open Letter to South Glen­garry Cit­i­zens:

Hello, neigh­bours. In the in­ter­est of con­serv­ing space, I have a very busy chart for you this week, with lots of data, re­quir­ing care­ful study. On the other hand, charts are pic­tures, and a pic­ture is worth a thou­sand words! The Town­ship of South Glen­garry has many classes of prop­erty.

If you’ve been fol­low­ing my letters from past weeks, you’ve seen the rapid in­crease in farm­land tax­a­tion. This week, let’s look at how dif­fer­ent “classes” of prop­erty have been as­sessed, and rated, and taxed since amal­ga­ma­tion. I haven’t charted them all sep­a­rately, only the four main groups: res­i­den­tial, farm­land, com­mer­cial and in­dus­trial.

Res­i­den­tial (green bars) as­sess­ments have gone up steadily, and with­out any sig­nif­i­cant down­ward ad­just­ment to the mill rate (green dashed line); there­fore, res­i­den­tial tax rev­enues (up­per solid green line) have more than tre­bled in the past two decades ($2.174M [1998] to $7.260M [2019]).

As dis­cussed be­fore, farm­land as­sess­ments (red bars) have seen a very rapid up­trend in the past decade, with vir­tu­ally no com­pen­satory down­ward ad­just­ment to the mill rate (red dashed line), and thus an un­sus­tain­able ex­po­nen­tial growth in farm­land tax­a­tion (solid red line). Since farm­ers (like me) pay res­i­den­tial tax as well as farm­land tax, we’ve been en­joy­ing both of these trends. In­dus­trial and com­mer­cial tax­a­tion data are also shown on the chart in a sim­i­lar fash­ion (black and blue, re­spec­tively).

Clas­sic wis­dom says that the only two things you can’t ever avoid in life are death and taxes. Well, if death is com­ing for me like these taxes are, I’ll have to take a break from this re­search to pol­ish up my last will and tes­ta­ment!

Thanks once more to Lach­lan McDon­ald and the staff of South Glen­garry Town­ship for pro­vid­ing this data, and to

and its read­ers for their con­tin­ued in­ter­est. Shawn McRae, McRae Farms

Ltd., Bainsville

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