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- for immediate release -



Freedom Party of Ontario



Attn: Newsroom

...the time has come for municipal finance reform, says Freedom Party
leader, McKeever

February 9, 2005 - Oshawa Ontario

Freedom Party of Ontario leader, Paul McKeever, is calling upon the Ontario government to give all of Ontario's municipal governments the power to levy a municipal consumption tax.

"For far too long," says McKeever, "we have been witnessing the ugly and divisive spectacle of municipal governments running, cap in hand, to the provincial government. It is time for the Ontario government to let municipalities leave the nest. Municipalities must now be given full responsibility not only for municipal spending, but also for municipal revenue."

"The concerns of Ontario's municipal leaders should be making it clear to the province that this is no time just to tinker. What I am proposing to this Ontario government is a 3-step plan for municipal finance reform."

McKeever's proposal is as follows:

  1. The province should give to each and every Ontario municipality the power to add a premium to existing Ontario consumption taxes (such as the provincial sales tax) within their respective geographic borders. The province should collect each municipality's premium through already-existing provincial collection systems, and remit the revenues to the municipalities in which they were paid. As an example, Toronto might decide, in a given year, to add a 1% premium to the provincial sales tax on purchases made in Toronto: if it were to do so, the total provincial sales tax for purchases made in Toronto would be 9%. At the same time, another municipality might add a 2% premium, or a half-percent premium.

  2. At the same time, the province should discontinue property taxation throughout Ontario.

  3. Once the finance reform is operative, the provincial government must say 'no' to municipalities seeking bail-outs from the provincial government. Indeed, it can be made a part of the finance reform that such bail-outs cannot be requested by municipal governments.

" This proposal gives municipalities both the authority they need to properly and effectively budget their activities and investments. At the same time, the plan ensures that political and economic accountability comes with that authority. A municipal government that overtaxes will be directly responsible for the political and economic consequences of that taxation. However, a municipal government that facilitates a vibrant economy will benefit accordingly.

"The benefit to home owners is also undeniable", says McKeever. "This plan says to home owners: 'You have already paid for your home. You no longer have to pay rent to the government to keep it'. "

McKeever is calling upon Ontario's municipal governments to consider and support his plan.

This media release has been sent to all major print, radio, and television media.

For further information, contact Freedom Party of Ontario's leader, Paul McKeever:

Office: 905-721-9772


Freedom Party of Ontario
240 Commissioners Road West
London, Ontario N6A 4E3
1-(800)-830-3301 / (519) 681-3999
FAX: (519) 681-2857