AMO Calls on Federal Government to Pay Fair Share of Property Taxes



    TORONTO, Sept. 7 /CNW/ - The Association of Municipalities of Ontario
(AMO) is calling on the Federal Government to drop its appeal against a
Federal Court ruling ordering Crown corporations to make payments in lieu of
property taxes more on par with true property tax values.
    "AMO strongly supports the Federation of Canadian Municipalities'
position that the Federal Government should support the communities they
operate in with payments that reflect actual property tax value," said AMO
President Doug Reycraft. "It costs municipalities just as much to service
Crown properties as it does privately owned ones. Having the community at
large subsidize Crown buildings is not good public policy and not in line with
the Canadian Government's commitment to support municipal infrastructure."
    The Federal Government does not pay property taxes to municipalities
anywhere in the country, but makes 'payments in lieu' of property taxes to
provide the funding needed to meet the additional demand on municipal
infrastructure and services. Payments in lieu rates, however, are determined
unilaterally by the Federal Government and do not correspond to what property
tax charges would be for similar buildings.
    On August 31, 2007, Federal Court Justice Luc Martineau ruled in three
cases between the City of Montreal and the Federal Government deciding that
federal officials cannot unilaterally determine what their payments to a city
will be. This landmark decision represents the first time that the
constitutional immunity of Federal tax laws was brought before the courts.
    "It is important that all property owners pay their fair share of
municipal property taxes so that municipalities have the resources they need
to build strong and sustainable communities," said Reycraft. "The Court has
ruled that communities hosting federal facilities should not be disadvantaged
and AMO hopes the Federal Government will respect that decision and withdraw
its appeal".

    AMO is a non-profit organization representing almost all of Ontario's 445
municipal governments. AMO supports strong and effective municipal government
in Ontario and promotes the value of municipal government as a vital and
essential component of Ontario and Canada's political system.





For further information:

For further information: Brian Lambie, Conference Media Contact,(416)
729-5425, lambie@redbrick.ca


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