“Port Hopers for Fair Taxes” to host Area Rating Info Event on Oct. 28
Port Hope, ON (Oct. 23, 2013) – The three Ward 2 members of the Area Rating Working Group appointed by Council will hold a “Port Hopers for Fair Taxes” information session at 7:30 pm on Monday, October 28th at the Port Hope Lions Centre to put forth a fair, equitable and compliant option, what they are calling “Option #7”.
The Area Rating Working Group, appointed by Council met from May 2012 through July 2013. The eight members of the Area Rating Citizen’s Working Group participated in over 20 meetings to review past practices and propose an updated or new approach to area rating taxation.
At the end of the July 22, 2013 Committee meeting, the three councillor committee members arbitrarily announced to the five citizen members that the committee was finished – despite the committee’s mandate being far from complete. The reason provided was because the Group had been unable to provide a recommendation by July 30th.
The Group was informed that the three councillor committee members (Linda Thompson, Rick Austin and Jeff Gilmer) would be handling the public consultation, dealing with the feedback, and making the final recommendation to Council for the Area Rating approach going forward instead of the Working Group. The majority of the committee was to have no say in what would be decided on their behalf. This action was contrary to Council’s direction and terms of reference, and abruptly prevented the citizen committee members from fulfilling the terms of reference they committed to carry out.
The Municipality of Port Hope held an Area Rating Open House on Oct. 21 and presented six options that are effectively all the same: a new Area Rating tax formula which would see municipal taxes increase by 46.9% in Ward 2 and drop by 7% in Ward 1. This new formula does not reflect the recommendations of the citizen members on the cancelled Area Rating Working Group committee.
Three citizen committee members (Ian Angus, Bill Bickle and Rick Norman) still believe in their responsibilities to carry out the terms of reference and to actively participate in the public discussions. They are preparing a draft resolution (which will be subject to revisions resulting from the public discussion and feedback) which could then be adopted by Council.
They are holding a public event, “Port Hopers for Fair Taxes” information session at 7:30 pm on Monday, October 28th at the Port Hope Lions Centre, 28 Thomas Street. They will describe the Working Group’s experience and how Council and Staff have allowed this impasse to develop.