By Steve Brackenridge
To The Haldimand Press
Farm property taxes are not a new topic for Ontario agriculture, but they can be a complicated one.
Property taxes are intended to pay for municipal services. The residential rate is set to pay for services required by households, including recreation, health and protection services. Farm families pay the residential tax rate on their homes because our families need those municipal services like everyone else.
Property taxes reflect the assessed value of a property so as property values rise, so do the property taxes. This is for simplicity as well as reflecting the notion that higher value homes consume more services.
Because unserviced farmland does not demand nor consume a lot of municipal services, it is taxed at up to 25% of residential tax rates. Lower taxes are paid because less service is required.