Figure 13; Shrinking Population of Wage Earners - source: Statistic Canada
Wage Earners are Leaving
One of the hidden impacts of the excessive growth in taxes that Owen Sound has experienced over the last twenty years is that people have been moving away.The population of those filing income tax on wages between 2017 and 2020 grew by 5.51% in Collingwood and shrank by 2.13% in Owen Sound. In all likelihood, wage earners are just moving across municipal boundaries to reduce one of the growing strains on their family finances – high Owen Sound Taxes. After all they can continue to enjoy everything that Owen Sound has to offer while living in Georgian Bluffs or just East of 28th avenue in Meaford. They can continue to do all of this and reap the benefits of much lower taxes that Georgian Bluffs and Meaford has to offer. We can see this when we look at the change in those filing income taxes between 2012 and 2020 as shown in figure 13.
No question about it, we are losing our wage earners. Where are they going? There are really only two possibilities. Wage earners are either retiring from the workforce or they are moving to other communities. Most are likely just moving across municipal boundaries to Georgian Bluff and Meaford. We can verify this by looking at the relative changes in population over the past 20 years for Owen Sound, Meaford and Georgian Bluffs on the next page.