“Safe, secure, affordable housing is vital to the continued health and well-being of the community.” (Report No. CA0 2023 -15 Municipality of Meaford). This Report was presented at the Sept. 25, 2023 Council Meeting held in Meaford.
My question to the members of the Municipality of Meaford Council is this:
How does safe, secure, affordable housing contribute to the health and well-being of all ratepayers of the community?
I ask this in light of the fact that not everyone in this Municipality will benefit from additional affordable housing. There are three levies already in place that benefit all rate payers. These are dedicated levies that total to 2.5 %. They are: 1% for roads, 1% for bridges, .5% for facilities. They have been compounded since 2018 but not specified on the municipal property tax bill. Property tax levies are listed on the municipal tax bills in many municipalities including urban municipalities such as Toronto.
In 2018 $1,865,270 was collected for these three specific levies and due to compounding has risen to $3,678,629 as of 2023. This new 1% tax levy for affordable housing would generate approximately $960,000 by 2026 if it is compounded annually.
In the above-mentioned Report No. CA0 2023 -15, the recommendation is just that- it be compounded annually. As an example of the impact of this additional levy, if the municipal property taxes on your property are currently $5,000, this levy will add $50.00 to your property taxes in 2024. Not much of an addition for one year, but this levy will, in all probability, be compounded in future years as recommended in the Report.
There are many low-income ratepayers in the Municipality of Meaford. These low-income property owners can ill afford an additional levy. It is interesting to note that, of the nine municipalities of Grey County in 2022, the Municipality of Meaford rung in with the second highest residential tax rate i.e. .0086, That was prior to this new additional affordable housing levy, about to be implemented.
“The fog creeps in on little cat feet, sits looking over harbour and city and then moves on.” (Carl Sandburg).
Tax levies creep in, sit looking over the municipality but they do not move on, they continue to increase on the backs of the ratepayers of the Municipality of Meaford.
Mary Mundle, Meaford
Editor’s Note: Important to note that the report to council was for information purposes only. It was clear from the discussion of this proposal, put forward by a member of council, that there was little appetite by the rest of council for a dedicated levy for affordable housing, and the proposal is unlikely to be entertained any further.