CHRISTIAN PROVENZANO LIBERAL CANDIDATE SAULT STE. MARIE
************************* Bryan Hayes’ track record includes eight years of tax increases SAULT STE. MARIE – A recent news release from the local Conservative campaign extolled candidate Bryan Hayes and his track record on City Council.
However, there is an aspect to Hayes’ time on council that has been overlooked: his support for eight consecutive years of municipal property tax increases. Says Christian Provenzano, Liberal candidate for Sault Ste. Marie: “I recognize that being on City Council and balancing a budget is hard. I don’t want to sit here in judgment on Bryan Hayes and the rightness or wrongness of his support of residential property tax increases. However, this is an undeniable part of his record in elected office and one that is at odds with some of his statements during this campaign.” The tax increases Hayes voted in favour of while on City Council include: 3.42 percent in 2003; 2.72 percent in 2004; 2.98 percent in 2005; 2.43 percent in 2006; 2.83 percent in 2007; 1.73 percent in 2008; 2.95 percent in 2009; and 3.39 percent in 2010. Hayes was also the chair of the finance committee during several years on council.
In 2008, he co-sponsored a motion demanding that councillors who voted against budgets with tax increases to provide ideas on how expenditures could be reduced. Says Provenzano: “I think in light of this it is unusual that Mr. Hayes would style himself as a defender of low taxes. He has speculated on several occasions about how halting the decrease in corporate taxes might affect the operations of local industries. But what of the negative impact that rising property taxes have had and are having on many homeowners living on fixed incomes in our city?” It should also be noted that local industrial assessments have been falling through much of the 2000s.
This has resulted in a greater share of the municipal tax burden being passed on to residential property owners. Says Provnezano: “Residents of Sault Ste. Marie have been told in the past that we should accept increases in our municipal taxes because what we pay is relatively low compared to other cities in Northern Ontario. Should this same logic not apply to corporations? Given that Canada already has one of the lowest corporate tax rates in the G8 – 25 percent less than the United States – shouldn’t our corporations be willing to have further cuts deferred a little longer?” “One thing is clear from Mr. Hayes’ record: He’s not afraid to ask average taxpayers to pay more. It seems strange that he should be so adamant that corporations need to pay less. I’ve asked him to account for his record before in person but he hasn’t yet done so yet. He should before election day,” concludes Provenzano.