Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

Should property taxes be used to fund our hospitals’ growing needs?

Posted by auroracitizen on February 2, 2009

A recent article in the local paper reported on the issue of funding hospitals from municipal property tax bills. The article reports that most members of Regional Council spoke in favour, with Councillors John Taylor and Brenda Hogg against.

Our own Mayor Phyllis Morris said she wanted her council to have a say, but doing nothing was not an answer.

So what is the answer? We look forward to your comments as well as a specific answer from the Mayor and Council.

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6 Responses to “Should property taxes be used to fund our hospitals’ growing needs?”

  1. Robert the Bruce said

    While this topic is somewhat old now, I have already voiced my opinion and Regional Council has already approved the budget, I can’t help but look at the headline of a section of today’s Toronto Star that says that York Region is facing a huge defecit of $1 Billion. That’s a BILLION with a “B”.

    I am so happy that fiscal responsibility is alive and well at this level of government too.

    Fuimus

  2. Grace Marsh said

    Well said Geoffrey.

    Like Robert the Bruce, I also fully support Regional Councillor Hogg and Taylor’s position. I never understood why the Province took hospital capital funding out of development charges. Having it there was allowing new growth to pay for the capital expansion needed to accommodate the growth. That makes complete sense to me. The Province would then fund the additional operating costs. The municipal tax base (local and regional) is facing deteriorating infrastructure, increased social costs, increased transportation needs, waste management struggles, increased demand for recreational facilities etc. The last thing we need to do is take on a provincial responsibility out of the municipal property tax base.

    Mayor Morris you alone collect the pay check from the Region, and therefore have the responsibility to speak on behalf of Aurora and you need to take a stand on this very important issue and you need to let the taxpayers of Aurora know what position you took and why.

  3. Evelyn Buck said

    Hospitals are like the Police Protectiion FireProtection and Education.

    It is alltoo easy to accuse a politician who questions the cost of not being in favour of fighting crime or protecting people from fire , not caring about sick people and not wanting to compensate the people who educate our children.

    Every year these service swallow a larger proportion of municipal resources.

    In the auto industry, union benefits for retirees have contributed to the lack of competitiveness, Unions have been forced to buy the plans from the automakers. New workers in the industry do not have the same benefits.

    In the public sector, the taxpayers pocket is deemed to be bottomless and thus far it appears to be so.Any one of the public sector unions have more money in the bank than provinces have debt.

    Money is power. Did anyone notice the provincial generosity to the police and firefighters in the last election.

    They gave them the right to “negotiate” earlier retirement with enriched pensions. Settlements are arbitrated for these two services.
    That’s not the same as negotiated.

    Do the public really know how a hospital is governed/ Whi is making the management decisions? Who gave them the authority? What is the accountability structure?

  4. Geoffrey Dawe said

    The use of property tax to fund hospitals is an ill-conceived idea which will only exacerbate the whole issue of health care funding. It will dilute, at least partially, the question of responsibility – Provincial? Regional? Municipal?

    It also has implications for universality. What happens to those areas that are under populated, at as compared to York Region. Do those residents get less service? Get to pay more? Both?

    And, what hospital director really wants to report to the local region and/or municipality as well as the province – or do we think that the local governments would not want any say in how things are run as they had over a cheque.

    As has already been pointed out by others, but seems to be continually forgotten, there is only one tax payer. Perhaps it is time for an accountability audit. Perhaps it is not time to spend more money, but to look at how we currently spend. Perhaps there are some other creative solutions.

    Perhaps it is time for the Ontario government to step up to their responsibilities and either fund these institutions to an appropriate level, or if they are, then to fully explain to the public why there is no more funding.

    As a tax payer, I would like some of this information before another hand is reaching into my pocket

  5. Robert the Bruce said

    It may not be the most popular response but I must support John Taylor and Brenda Hogg’s side of things. Regional council (like most municipal representatives) forget that there is only level of tax payer for the multiple levels of taxation.

    As residents of Ontario, we pay provincial income tax, provincial sales tax, Employee Health Tax as well as the other Federal and Municipal taxes. Health care is a provincial responsibility and through the already levied taxes, we already support hospital funding.

    Adding an additional levy to Municipal taxes – which are already too high for the service received – adds insult to injury. (no puns intended).

    Municipal levels of governments need to remember what responsibilities that they are charged with providing. Police, fire, water, sewer, roads etc. We barely have the skill sets on council to deal with these simple issues. Can you imagine how long it will be before a municipal councillor starts to get involved in how a hospital is run because they provide funding?

    Let’s keep to what we are supposed to do. Let Daulton et al deal with health care.

    Fuimus

  6. frustrated freddy said

    She wanted her Council to have a say? Translation? she needed to consult with her co-mayor maceachern before she made any kind of statement

    pathetic

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