Long overdue

The province’s plan to introduce legislation this fall to overhaul the Provincial Land Tax Act is long overdue—and one that warrants swift passage at Queen’s Park.
If passed, the reforms likely won’t be popular with most residents in unorganized areas around here, such as those owning lake property, as their land taxes will rise substantially. But for those taxpayers living in organized areas, the move certainly will reduce the burden of provincial downloading they’ve been unfairly shouldering to date.
Frankly, even the most strident detractors surely must agree that residences going for $200,000-$300,000 east of the Causeway should be paying more than $40-$60 a year in property taxes.
To its credit, the Liberal government of Dalton McGuinty finally is taking the bull by the horns—something that hasn’t happened since land tax reform first was proposed back in 1998 by then Conservative premier Mike Harris.
And it’s about time, given there’s been no reassessment of the roughly 60,000 provincial land tax accounts since 1940—and the uniform tax rate of 1.5 percent hasn’t changed in half a century.
Should properties in unorganized areas have to pay for municipal services they don’t receive? Of course not. But the current system is blatantly unfair and needs to be revamped now.

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