Homeowners crying foul over police-related property taxes

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To a T
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Homeowners crying foul over police-related property taxes

Postby To a T » Fri Mar 14, 2014 1:13 pm

http://www.torontosun.com/2014/03/13/rural-homeowners-crying-foul-over-police-related-property-tax-hikes

TORONTO - Irate rural homeowners are blaming soaring OPP salaries for massive hikes in their property taxes.

Paul Newby owns a cottage in Algonquin Highlands. He says policing costs for the municipality are going from $3.3 million a year to $8.5 million in 2015 — with no increase in service.

It’s an area that doesn’t have a strong commercial and industrial tax base to support policing — so homeowners are getting hit hard. It’s particularly tough for cottagers, who don’t use their second homes year-round and who now resent getting slammed with extra costs to pay for the cops’ pay hike.

Newby’s on a lake that has around 200 cottages and a few year-round houses. He estimates the population is 65% seasonal.

“There’s no one around in the winter — but they’re treated like a house that can be used all year,” he said.

“My taxes are $1,100 a year,” he told me.

“They’re going to go up $458 — 36% — in one year,” he said.

Part of the problem, Newby says, is the way the new OPP funding model is counting households. Previously seasonal residences weren’t included. Now they are, which he says is unfair because they’re not using police services year-round.

“If you look at municipal operating costs, they’ve only increased 4.9%, but the cost of emergency services have gone up 6.3%,” Newby said.

A 2012 report by the provincial auditor general noted that OPP expenditures have, “clearly increased at a much faster pace than inflation, even though crime rates and serious motor vehicle accidents are in a trend of long-term decline.”

The report noted also that OPP officers are among the highest paid in the country, with better benefits than other civil servants.

Janet Duffield has a year-round home on Kenissis Lake in Haliburton.

She says tax hikes in her area are anywhere between 20-36%.

“Right now, we’re paying $4,100 a year in taxes. They’re talking about an increase on average of anything from $300-$450 a year, based on property values,” she said.

It’s not a wealthy area and she doesn’t know how most homeowners will find the extra cash.

Tory critic Steve Clark says the Liberals have created a chaotic situation in rural municipalities.

Some municipalities have been told they’ll be getting more money to pay for cops, and are planning to spend the extra cash, while others are getting much bigger bills.

“There’s total chaos in the municipal sector when it comes to policing right now,” Clark told me.

A spokesman for Community Safety Minister Madeleine Meilleur said the new OPP billing model is nothing to do with the 8% pay hike — negotiated after the force had agreed to a two-year pay freeze. It’s in response to the auditor’s report criticizing the lack of transparency on funding for OPP. The report noted massive inequities in per household costs for policing between municipalities.

“Each municipality controls its own property taxation formula and is free to choose an alternative policing service,” said Seirge LeBlanc.

“It should be noted that the cost of OPP services compares very favourably to those of other municipal police services. Even after the recent OPP constable salary increase, the projected 2014 average per household cost for OPP policed municipalities is $365, compared to an average per household cost in 2012 of $784 for self-policed municipalities,” he said.

In 2011/2012, the auditor estimated staffing costs at 87% of the OPP expenditures. The new model may not be related to the hike — but you can’t say it hasn’t had a massive impact on tax bills.

Look, we all respect the work cops do for us, out on the road every day keeping us safe.

But there’s a tipping point. Right now, municipalities are being handcuffed by skyrocketing policing bills.

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Re: Homeowners crying foul over police-related property taxe

Postby Punisher-One » Fri Mar 14, 2014 1:24 pm

Complaining about property taxes on your SECOND HOME....first world problems.

Love this quote:
Part of the problem, Newby says, is the way the new OPP funding model is counting households. Previously seasonal residences weren’t included. Now they are, which he says is unfair because they’re not using police services year-round.


I bet if someone broke into your second home when you were not there in the winter you would probably want the Police to provide you with service right?

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Re: Homeowners crying foul over police-related property taxe

Postby meathead1 » Fri Mar 14, 2014 2:51 pm

House gets broken into in December? How about we come investigate it in may, like you wish, sir.
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Re: Homeowners crying foul over police-related property taxe

Postby 48highlander » Fri Mar 14, 2014 4:23 pm

For the people who live in these places full time, yeah it sucks big time to have your taxes go up by large amounts (especially since a lot of small town don't exactly have booming economies and high paying jobs in the first place.) For the seasonal people who in some cases never had to pay before...tough shit. Like Punisher said first world problems. If you have stretched your finances in an attempt to keep up with the Jones, by having a cottage to the point the property taxes are unaffordable, that's a you problem.

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Re: Homeowners crying foul over police-related property taxe

Postby Bitterman » Fri Mar 14, 2014 5:15 pm

Punisher-One wrote:I bet if someone broke into your second home when you were not there in the winter you would probably want the Police to provide you with service right?



Yeah, but c'mon... What service other than providing a report # to give your ins. Company are police going to be able to give?
It's not like they'll be able to go recover your property.

My property taxes are $5200/yr.
Police levy is number two just after what goes to the school board.
I'd bet my area doesn't generate much work for the local constabulary, but we get to pay for all the work that gets done in the shit hole inner city.
Other than speed traps. ... We don't see much police presence.
Of course... it doesn't make sense setting up speed traps in areas where the most common vehicles are electric scooters and stolen bicycles ridden by grown men balancing 24's of Labbat's Blue on the handle bars...
Ugh...

Wuddya gonna do?
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Admit nothing.
Deny everything.
Make counter accusations...

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Re: Homeowners crying foul over police-related property taxe

Postby GPZ » Fri Mar 14, 2014 6:04 pm

$1100 a year? That's a pretty inexpensive property tax bill if you ask me.

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Re: Homeowners crying foul over police-related property taxe

Postby Whistler22 » Fri Mar 14, 2014 7:56 pm

So what, do they want the province to eat more of the cost? Not with my taxes, thank you very much. I already pay for my municipal police. I don't want to pay to protect peoples second homes in Hucklebuck County.

If OPP is too pricey, boot them and start a town police. Good luck.

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Re: Homeowners crying foul over police-related property taxe

Postby basketcase » Sun Mar 16, 2014 11:09 pm

meathead1 wrote:House gets broken into in December? How about we come investigate it in may, like you wish, sir.


Pretty much how it goes now anyway. They discover the B-E in the spring when they finally go to the cottage and expect us to solve it with CSI techniques in half an hour.

If you don't want to pay the police, stop expecting the police to do every thing that's not police problems. Like fixing your marriage, making your kids listen to you, telling your neighbour to cut his lawn, keep his snow on his side, park his car on the other side of the driveway, turn his music down, keep his dog from shitting on your lawn, dealing with nuisance animals, etc. There are way too many things the police shouldn't be doing bug have to because nobody else is willing. Pay for it or don't complain about it.
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Re: Homeowners crying foul over police-related property taxe

Postby To a T » Sun Mar 16, 2014 11:52 pm

:crazy:
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Re: Homeowners crying foul over police-related property taxe

Postby mack_silent » Mon Mar 17, 2014 6:01 am

A significant segment of society seems to live in a fantasy world.
They want and expect the best, but want to pay very little for it.
KCCO. Wake up. Kick butt. Repeat.

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Re: Homeowners crying foul over police-related property taxe

Postby gotchya » Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:26 am

basketcase wrote:If you don't want to pay the police, stop expecting the police to do every thing that's not police problems. Like fixing your marriage, making your kids listen to you, telling your neighbour to cut his lawn, keep his snow on his side, park his car on the other side of the driveway, turn his music down, keep his dog from shitting on your lawn, dealing with nuisance animals, etc. There are way too many things the police shouldn't be doing bug have to because nobody else is willing. Pay for it or don't complain about it.


Perhaps this is they type of stuff that ought to be done by Community Safety Officers or Auxiliary Members.
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Re: Homeowners crying foul over police-related property taxe

Postby meathead1 » Mon Mar 17, 2014 12:00 pm

basketcase wrote: expect us to solve it with CSI techniques in half an hour.


Which brings up yet another issue- people who "know" about policing because they have watched CSI.
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Re: Homeowners crying foul over police-related property taxe

Postby basketcase » Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:10 pm

gotchya wrote:
basketcase wrote:If you don't want to pay the police, stop expecting the police to do every thing that's not police problems. Like fixing your marriage, making your kids listen to you, telling your neighbour to cut his lawn, keep his snow on his side, park his car on the other side of the driveway, turn his music down, keep his dog from shitting on your lawn, dealing with nuisance animals, etc. There are way too many things the police shouldn't be doing bug have to because nobody else is willing. Pay for it or don't complain about it.


Perhaps this is they type of stuff that ought to be done by Community Safety Officers or Auxiliary Members.


We already have bylaw officers for all of that crap. People just don't know to call them and our (OPP)Provincial Communications Centre won't forward these calls to them because some areas have bylaw, other areas only have the OPP. It's not up to the PCC to track who does and doesn't I suppose.

Wild animal stuff... Ministry of Natural Resources should be looking after it. But doesn't. Ask MikeMcNaughton what's going on in Timmins right now with lynx being shot and the public losing their minds over it because it's the only appropriate action police have. So what do the members of the public do? They blame the police instead of blaming the government for scrapping MNR programs.

Noise complaints.....hit and miss. Police should probably keep looking after these or attend with bylaw because the parties can go either way most times.

MVC's? We need more collision reporting centres. When, and only when, we reduce the burden placed on the police to do everything, is when the public can start legitimately complaining that the police make too much money.

Of course these are the facts that will never be published in a newspaper article because they don't sell.
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Re: Homeowners crying foul over police-related property taxe

Postby Minimum Wage Warrior » Mon Mar 17, 2014 7:04 pm

I remember driving to a rural town to settle a really lame dispute between neighbours. Basically two hermits who moved away from town because they can't get along with anyone. They promptly fall into a long dispute over loud noise. Then they both antagonize each other to the point where one calls us and wants charges. It was one of the most annoying calls I had ever been too. After telling them (professionally) that they both were the authors of their own misfortune and nothing illegal had happened, they both complained about my response time and the level of service they were receiving. I just had to laugh at how absurd some people can get.

As far as seasonal residences go, I liked BC's homeowners grant. You got a break on your property tax if it was the property you yourself lived in. Who do these people expect to pay for the policing so they can have more gas for waterskiing?

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Re: Homeowners crying foul over police-related property taxe

Postby Columbo » Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:16 pm

.
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