Monday, June 02, 2008

Why do property taxes rise ?

Let's stop and think about this for a moment. Property taxes pay for city services, and if city services haven't changed, why would property taxes go up just because your house is worth more?

Property taxes don't go up because assessments rise. Property taxes go up because municipal spending is out of control.

Why, if federal and provincial taxes are going down, are municipal property taxes going up?

Because the municipal budgeting process is backwards.

Federal and provincial governments start with a budget then work out how much they can spend. Municipalities start with a spending wish list then decide how much property taxes will have to rise to pay for their largess.

Provincial governments must cap property taxes to limit municipal spending. This would provide a defined revenue stream for municipal governments and certainly for property owners.

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