Colin Perkel, The Globe and Mail
Smaller communities across the country have been grappling with what they view as an ever-increasing tax bite for policing they can barely afford. Some say they have had to raise property taxes by as much as 20 to 30 per cent to pay for increases in police costs.
Christian Leuprecht, a professor at the Royal Military College of Canada, said rising security costs are hurting communities across Canada. “The real problem is in the rural areas – it’s in the contract-policing areas,” Prof. Leuprecht said. “It is completely unsustainable. Their tax base is stagnant. They’re cannibalizing all other aspects of their budget to pay for policing.”
Some communities, with their limited tax bases, are seeing upward of 25 or 30 per cent of their total budgets go toward policing. One hard-hit area is in rural eastern Ontario, where communities were surprised to discover they’re paying tens of thousands of dollars for police service to wind turbines and cellphone towers. The issue is especially galling, said one mayor, given his municipality’s embrace of green energy in part as a supposed revenue stream.
“We’ve got 86 of them here so it’s big numbers,” said Denis Doyle, mayor of Frontenac Islands, population 2,000. “We went out of our way to support the windmill rollout and now we feel like we’ve been kicked in the teeth when you find out they charge us back any money we might get from taxes just to pay (police).” Read article