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Taxation fairness

Dear editor:

With the upcoming municipal election, we cannot expect that a new mayor and an almost new-look council will reduce taxes in Fort Frances.

The need for revenue increases on a yearly basis. The cost of living in Ontario is expected to increase this year over three percent. This is considerably more that we have experienced in recent years.

From what we have heard, the minimum road standards, which have been expanded onto sidewalk maintenance, will add several basis points to costs.

With increases to wages and insurance, we need to ask ourselves, “Where is all of the extra cash coming from?”

Every candidate in their presentation last Tuesday evening (Oct. 2) expressed their desire to continue offering the good life that we enjoy in Fort Frances. They also expressed a desire to offer more going forward.

Few expressed a vision as to how we would increase revenues to be able to pay for the more expensive services or, indeed, on how we will raise revenues to expand into the future.

The fairness of property tax collection is not employed in Ontario and we in Northern Ontario feel the pain more than most. With the highest tax rate for housing being at the top in the north, the railroad companies enjoy the lowest rate for property taxes in the province.

That is wrong and has been brought to the government's attention on more than one occasion by Coun. Ken Perry. We have seen movement in the right direction but we still lag far behind compared to other provinces in Canada.

It seems that Ken needs to do more.

There are other properties within our town that receive either tax reductions or tax forgiveness from the federal and provincial governments. They need to step up and contribute on behalf of those that have been exempted.

The same councillor just recently has supported the new Municipal Accommodation Tax and is pursuing other avenues for revenue that does not reflect upon our local citizens.

We need a new council and a new mayor in place who will explore revenue from outside out town and bring the dollars to the local economy without continually impacting those of us that remit too much of the “share” already.

Signed,

Malcolm Douglas

Fort Frances, Ont.

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