By Elliot Ferguson, Kingston Whig-Standard
MARYSVILLE — Recent changes to how the Ontario Provincial Police bill municipalities for service could have a major impact on rural townships that are home to wind turbines.
More than six years after the turbines on Wolfe Island became operational, Frontenac Islands Township council was surprised in December when it received a bill for policing from the Leeds County OPP. “They charge us the same in this new policing formula for a wind tower as they do for a house,” Mayor Denis Doyle said. “It costs us a lot of money.”
Frontenac Islands Township pays an average of about $300 per household for policing, meaning new policing fees for the wind turbines properties added almost $26,000 to the township’s policing bill for 2016. “We were dumbfounded why our rate went up so much,” Doyle said, adding that township staff had to go back through the bill to find out the reason for the increase. “That’s gone way up from what we were expecting.”
Ontario sets tax rates on different types of properties depending on their use. Residential and commercial properties pay the full amount of property tax, while land being used for farming or forestry pay 25 per cent of the tax rate. Properties where wind turbines are located can only be taxed at a rate of five per cent of the full tax rate, Doyle said. Read article