This is an early response from our CFO on the LGPI report.
Regarding the recent newspaper articles on comparatives for Guelph taxes, the City has participated with over 80 other cities in Ontario in an annual benchmarking report prepared independently by BMA consulting.
The information in BMA’s report is derived from Provincial information returns (the FIR) as well as data from the assessment corporation, statistics Canada, tax rate bylaws and supplementary information such as water/sewer rates and economic development data provided by municipal treasurers for the participating communities.
BMA provides a written report to each of the municipalities, and in addition makes an annual presentation to the City.
We have scheduled BMA to present their current benchmarking report (2009 financial data) to the FACS committee in January in preparation for the upcoming budget. Some of the municipalities are still finalizing their FIR’s, so we will not have all 80 municipalities, but most of Guelph’s normal comparators are completed.
The most recent BMA report (2008 data) has been posted on our website and I have copied the link below http://www.guelph.ca/uploads/Finance/2008_MunicipalStudy_BMA.pdf
Chapter 7 contains extensive analysis of comparative taxation, including by type of property.
I am referring the newspaper article regarding Guelph high taxes to our independent consultant, so that he can provide the Finance committee with his observations regarding the analysis and conclusions drawn in the article.