Tax hikes are way out of proportion
Open Letter to SD&G Citizens: I’d like to shift gears a bit and invite my friends and neighbours of North Glengarry, as well as those in Stormont and Dundas counties, to observe the property taxation trends that apply to all of us at “the county level.”
Everyone out in the country, who gets a property tax bill, knows that the tax pie has three slices. In 2004, my slices were $3,823/$5,125/$2,058 for Township, Counties, and Schools, respectively (residential + farmland). Last year, they were $9,220/$10,855/$3,121 for the same three tax-roll farm properties (residential + farmland). So, since we’ve already had a look at the exponential growth of South Glengarry taxation, let us now review the “upper tier” taxation in the following chart.
Since there are nearly 60 classes of property in the SDG dataset, I charted the four biggies separately (residential, commercial, pipeline, farmland), and lumped the rest into “other.” My theme continues: mill rates have not been adjusted to compensate for rapid hikes in assessment values, particularly for the residential and farmland classes.
I know and regret, that my wonderful high school teacher, Mrs. Cheryl Clingon, despaired at my performance in her math classes at GDHS, but even a dullard like me can see that this growth in taxation (and consequential spending) is way out of proportion to general rates of inflation or private sector growth.
My parents, God bless them, drove me to my minor hockey games all over SD&G back in the 1970s and ‘80s, when municipal taxation was a small fraction of what it is now. The same township and county roads were annually paved and gravelled and graded as now.
Why has taxation changed so dramatically? Some politicians point fingers at the Province for “downloading” or skimping on cost-share formulas relative to the “old days,” and that might be a wee part of the story; but I suspect it’s mostly deflection and obfuscation. I’d rather rely upon objective data analysis.
My next task is to distill as much expense data as I can obtain for this time period, so it might be a while before my next report. My sincere thanks go out to Tim Simpson and the staff of SD&G Counties for providing this taxation data, and to and its readers for their continued interest in this research. Shawn McRae, McRae Farms Ltd., Bainsville