Tractor protest by farmers against higher taxes in Port Hope Ward 2

Tractor demonstration against proposed tax increase at Port Hope town hall

Tractor demonstration against proposed tax increase at Port Hope town hall.

Peaceful tractor demonstration by Ward 2 farmers against proposed 46.9% tax increase

Peaceful tractor demonstration by Ward 2 farmers against proposed 46.9% tax increase

Photos courtesy of Isaac Zelcer, Matthews Media.

On December 11th, 2013, Ward 2 farmers sent a message to the mayor, council and staff at Town Hall in the Municipality of Port Hope. The farming community is glad to see some softening by council with respect to the originally proposed 46.9% tax-hike for Ward 2 residents, and they wanted to say thank-you. But they also want the mayor, council and staff to know they’re expecting more movement.

At the Committee of the Whole meeting on December 3rd, council approved a return to the table to review the distribution of taxes. This round will include a proper community consultation so residents know how decisions are being made, and can contribute to the conversation.

Specifically, residents will be provided a venue for discussion about what is a special service, how are services being provided differently across the Municipality, which services are provided at different levels, and whether some services are not provided at all in some parts of the Municipality. These discussions are meant to inform how the costs are then distributed between Wards.

The farming community supports this return to the table and made their position clear on Wednesday: Ward 2 is paying its share; access is different in rural communities, and rural residents don’t want all the services urban residents demand.