The Impact of High Taxes in Owen Sound

The Impact of High Taxes Ė Part II

Owen Sound taxpayers are one of the highest taxed populations in Ontario as shown. The graph above shows the relative taxes on a $400,000 home. If you were fortunate enough to own a $400,000 home, you would save over $2,000 per year if you were to move your house to Collingwood or $780 per year if you moved it to Brockville, which has almost identical population to Owen Sound.

Comparison of Taxes on a $400k Home   source: BMA 2018 Municipal Study  

The 2018 BMA Municipal Study looked at 108 municipalities in Ontario. Of these Owen Sound ranks as 103 Ė pretty much leading the pack when it comes to high taxes. There are only five municipalities that are taxed higher. Four of them are in the far north Timmins, Espanola, Elliot Lake and Greenstone. These northern communities have unique challenges that Owen Sound doesnít face.

So what does this mean for taxpayers? Well, if we looked at picking up our house and just moving it across municipal boundaries you would get a 22% tax rebate if you moved it east of 28th Ave to the Town of Meaford. Taxes in Meaford are only 78.4% of what they are in Owen Sound. For example if your property taxes are $5,000 per year in Owen Sound you only pay $3,920 in Meaford, so you would have an extra $1,080 to spend on something other than taxes each year. Savings are even better if you were to move your house to Saugeen Shores where taxes are only 61.1% of those in Owen Sound. Therefore you would get a savings of about $2,000 a year if you lived in Saugeen Shores.

Commercial Tax Rate Comparison   source: 2021 BMA Municipal Study

The above graph possibly explains why businesses like, McDonalds Flower Shop, moved to the Sunset Strip. Commercial tax rates must be driving business out of Owen Sound given the vast difference in tax rates. High Commercial also discourages new businesses from locating in Owen Sound. The result is Owen Sound is not growing and the absence of a strong, thriving commercial sector means that good paying jobs are scarce.

Comparison of Average Household Income in 2021 source: 2021 BMA Municipal Study

The graph above is developed from data provided in the 2021BMA Study and shows exactly where Owen Sound stands when it comes to Average Household income. Do you wonder why Owen Soundís Average Household income is so much lower than others in Grey-Bruce? I believe that high taxes play a significant role in keeping wages down. This combined with the fact that people are moving out of Owen Sound and that Owen Sound has had little growth over the last 20 years also suggests that high taxes is a major factor.

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1 comment on 1 page
Itís interesting to see how we compare with Brockville and Collingwood but Iíd rather see how we compare with Georgian Bluffs. Regardless weíre in bad shape here in Owen Sound. Since we canít pick up our houses and move them to Georgian Bluffs we need to elect a council with the courage and know-how to fix things a city hall.  
George Haines

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