Hudak's $500 Million Tax Hike Condemned

TORONTO, Sept. 26, 2011 /CNW/ - Tim Hudak's plan to hike property taxes on Ontario families and businesses' is being criticized across the province by municipal leaders. Here's a sampling:

AMO Executive Director Pat Vanini:

  • "AMO executive director Pat Vanini said when the provincial transfer tap is shut off municipalities have no on else to look to but property taxpayers. 'He is the only one (of the political leaders) who has not agreed to honouring that agreement,' Vanini said, referring to the 2008 uploading agreement between the province and municipalities." (Toronto Star, September 24, 2011)

AMO President and Tecumseh Mayor Gary McNamara:

  • "Here in Essex County, a stoppage of the upload would result in a loss of $400,000 in the first year, but then increase yearly. Under a PC government the County would lose $1.1 million per year by 2018." (Kingsville Reporter, September 20, 2011)

Oakville Mayor Rob Burton:

  • "Oakville Mayor Rob Burton said this week Hudak's claims that arbitration rule changes would cover uploading are wrong, 'and they clearly haven't done the math. If uploading stops, we will have higher property taxes,' Burton told reporters." (Toronto Star, September 24, 2011)
  • "Burton said, if wage arbitration rule changes led to a one per cent lower wage increase in all essential services payrolls, that would save Oakville $720,000 per year, less than a tenth the value of the uploading savings." (Inside Halton, September 22, 2011)

Renfrew County Warden Bob Sweet:

  • "He said the county is looking at $1.4 million in uploaded costs which may fall back onto them. 'This should never have been on the (municipal) tax base in the first place,' he said, noting municipalities are counting on this upload happening, and could be facing hefty tax increases to make up for the extra expense if it doesn't happen. "'We are backtracking here to darker, darker days.'" (Pembroke Observer, September 20, 2011)

Halton Regional Chair and former PC MPP Gary Carr:

  • "'In the last little while there has been a tendency to put more and more on the property tax in provincial government,' Carr said. 'Going back to when I was a member of provincial parliament, government has been downloading services onto municipalities. That's one of the reasons in the late '90s I voted against the downloading bill. I said at that time it was wrong and it's still wrong.'" (Inside Halton, September 22, 2011)

Owen Sound Mayor Deb Haswell:

  • "The leader of the PC party indicated at the AMO conference that they would not continue with any upload of court security. So that full $450,000 would continue to sit on the backs of the Owen Sound property taxpayer. And, plain and simple, it's simply not fair to the Owen Sound property taxpayer to continue to pay the full bill for court security." (Owen Sound Sun Times, September 22, 2011)

City of Hamilton Director of Finance Rob Rossini:

  • "Rob Rossini, the City of Hamilton's director of finance, also identified downloading as one of the biggest factors influencing the city's bottom line. He said uploading has already come up in council's preliminary 2012 budget discussions."'Continued uploading is important for us, because over the next six years there is supposed to be over $23 million in upload savings to the local taxpayer,' Rossini wrote in an email. 'Regardless of who wins the election, we want the future provincial government to honour this commitment.'" (Hamilton Spectator, September 21, 2011)

Former North Bay Mayor and Current PC Candidate Vic Fedeli:

  • "Fedeli said it's critical for municipalities that the province make up for the inequities in the Community Reinvestment Fund which stem from the downloading of provincial programs beginning back in 1998.  He said it's unfair that municipal tax dollars are used to pay for provincial responsibilities such as social programs, public health ambulance services." (North Bay Nugget, March 31, 2005)

SOURCE Ontario Liberal Party

For further information:

Ontario Liberal Media Office
416-961-3800 x 328

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