Halton Hills and North Halton newspapers
Letters to the editor....Proposed 6 per cent tax hike concerns resident
Independent & Free Press (Georgetown, ON), 1 Feb 2006, p. 6

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Dear editor, t's that time again to wait and see how much council will increase our realty taxes for another year. This time it can

be as high as 6%, since town finance director Ed DeSousa is demanding nearly another $2 million over and above last year's budget. I wonder if Mr. DeSousa ever had to balance budgets of companies in the private sector, if not, then he cannot possibly fathom the pushback he would get for this kind of request. My 2005 realty tax bill went up over $180 last year, which was in addition to an increase of $120 from the year before. Not enough Mr. DeSousa? Between realty taxes and utilities, I have spent nearly$10,000 dollars in each of the past three years in keeping a roof over my family's head. I guess those of us trying to raise a family aren't paying enough; $180 may not seem like much, but like retail taxes, realty tax is taken from our after-tax income where it hurts the most. At least we can lower what we pay in retail taxes by adjusting our consumption by opting out of certain retail purchases. But realty tax is for life if you want to keep your home for future generations. But to add insult to injury, council just announced that farmers will be getting deferrals on paying their realty taxes. And last year it was select seniors who had a break when council decided to freeze their

property assessments. Deserving or not, why is it okay to pass the tax burden to those of us struggling to raise our families in today's challenging circumstances of exorbitant home ownership costs, utility payments, tuition payments, etc.? Aren't farmers already paying a fraction in realty taxes as a percentage of property values compared to homeowners anyways? This is all in an era of more and more Canadians approaching their retirement years without adequate financial resources. This is just another example of politicians seeking short term political gains for a well organized few while ignoring the long term consequences on the majority of the population. The break on farmer taxes reminds me of the greenbelt issue where concessions were also made to farmers who wanted to keep Halton lands out of greenbelt protection. Immediately after council conceded to their demands, I noticed many farm properties within Halton go for sale for seven figure prices, no doubt to speculators. All this makes you wonder exactly who is struggling. Rui Pita, Georgetown

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1 Feb 2006
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DeSousa, Ed ; Rui, Pita
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Letters to the editor....Proposed 6 per cent tax hike concerns resident