Prince Edward County Mayor Robert Quaiff called it ‘between a rock and a hard place’ when it comes to deciding what to do about the farm tax ratio in the County.
Council heard from a number of county farmers about how a potential 25 per cent increase in their taxes would make an already tough way to make a living even harder.
The discussion sparked much discontent around the horseshoe which saw not only staff’s recommendation defeated, but four amended motions fall as well.
Quaiff describes it as a balancing act.
He says they’ve had the opportunity to do something since 2000 and now they have the chance.
Quaiff said they also have to keep in mind that 90 per cent of the tax base is residential and 63 per cent of that is made up of seniors on fixed incomes.
In the end council decided to simply receive the report from staff with a suggested farm tax ratio of 25 per cent of the residential tax ratio.
Options floated included a 20 per cent increase, a three year plan which saw the ratio set at 24 per cent this year, at 22 per cent in 2019, 20 per cent in 2020 and then 25 per cent in 2021, along with a 20 per cent tax ratio for this year with an annual review and a ratio of 22 per cent for this year.
Council will revisit the topic during their February 13th meeting.