Monday, November 03, 2008

Cap property taxes

While federal and provincial tax burdens fall, municipal tax burdens rise. Why is that?

Municipal budgeting is upside down. Municipal governments develop spending wish lists then figure out how much property taxes will have to rise by to cover off the spending largesse.

A property tax cap would set municipal budgeting right side up.

By capping the property tax rate at its current rate, and allowing assessed values to increase by no more than the rate of inflation, municipal big spenders would have to prioritize and focus on their core responsibilities - police, fire, and public works.

How would all the extras we currently get be paid for? Fees for service. A CTF poll asked people all across Canada if they would prefer lower property taxes and more fees for service - 58% agreed.

A property Tax Cap will create predictable payments for local ratepayers and predictable revenues for local governments by making revenues, not spending wish lists, the first consideration in the municipal budgeting process.

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