Letter: Mayor’s stance on farm tax ratio appreciated

I’d like to thank Mayor Steve Ferguson for his response to shifting the farm tax ratio.. I am obviously disappointed at the decision by council to reduce the farm tax to .23 and the subsequent additional burden now placed on the residential tax class, albeit relatively small.

Some folks in this community are already hurting with the recent tax increases, and not only do council introduce a farmer incentive program (which is under-utilised), they now award a further ‘blanket’ reduction to all farmers, both small and large, struggling and very successful.

I agree with the mayor that council has now set a precedent on the shifting of tax increases to other classes and look forward to coming before council when my tax class increases. I suggest a resolution to this issue should be a levy on the rezoning and severance of previously subsidized farmland, so that those farmers who are benefiting from the current market value (to which they object in the context of taxation), can fund the future reduction in farm taxes within the same tax class.

This was a very sad day when council kowtowed to the pressure from the bullying tactics of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture. If only the struggling residential class and small business owners could have such a powerful and greedy voice representing them. Some farmers have enjoyed a reduction through MPAC (the proper route), a grant program and also now a reduction in tax. How much is enough!

Graham Chapman