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Saturday, March 16, 2019

Agriculture Federation and Ministry Seeks Tax Fairness for Rural Properties

Huron County | by Peter Jackson  

Huron County is proposing 25% tax rate, the two parties are asking it to cap it at 22.3%.

A member of Huron County Council believes property tax fairness for all ratepayers may be a difficult balance to maintain.

Councillor Bernie MacLellan was reacting to a recent presentation to Council by the Huron County Federation of Agriculture and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

The Federation and OMAFRA are calling on the County to set this year's rural property tax rate at 22.3 per-cent of residential taxes, instead of the 25 per-cent that's being considered.

MacLellan tells Country 104.9 News that the rate is based within a system that has existed for many years.

He believes it would take research to find the time when all ratepayers found their property taxes to be at the right level.

MacLellan recalls the years when residential property taxes kept increasing, while levies on farmland remained relatively unchanged.

He maintains that setting a cap on rural property taxes would be unfair to all other ratepayers whose taxes keep increasing.

OMAFRA Senior Farm Policy Analyst Rob Lefort shared examples of 14 other Ontario jurisdictions, where 2019 farm tax rates have been set below 25 per-cent of residential rates.

County Council will review a staff report on the issue, during budget deliberations.


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