Taxpayers shouldn’t be subsidizing aggregate operations in their communities.
Regulated by the province, aggregate producers collect and remit fees related to the extraction of aggregate materials. A percentage of the fees collected are remitted to the Aggregate Resources Trust for rehabilitation and research; to municipalities to compensate for the extraordinary damage that is caused to municipal roads along haul routes; and to the Crown to regulate pits and quarries – including overseeing licensing, inspections, compliance and rehabilitation.
The aggregate industry will claim that they pay a portion of the aggregate levy to municipalities and that justifies paying a lower property tax rate. That rationale is flawed in several ways.
The aggregate industry does not pay the aggregate levy out of pocket
- Aggregate producers charge a separate “aggregate levy” to their customers and remit it to The Ontario Aggregate Resources Corporation (TOARC) annually
- Works much the same way as a retailer collects and remits HST
There is a significant difference in the purpose of property taxes and the aggregate levy
- Property taxes are used to pay for all municipal services, including the ones aggregate operators would use in their day-to-day business
- Aggregate levy is designed to compensate municipalities for the repair and replacement of infrastructure along haul routes
Aggregate levy is meant to be “in addition to” not “in replacement of” property taxes
- Other property owners should not be required to subsidize the aggregate industry’s obligations to pay their fair share of municipal services
- The aggregate levy is a special fee to recover extraordinary costs specific to the industry
Roads damaged by the aggregate sector — but used by all — need to be repaired. Taxpayers shouldn’t be expected to subsidize those repairs and a fair aggregate levy ensures industry is paying their freight for the municipal services their sector relies on. There would be no purpose to an aggregate levy if it simply replaced the responsibility to pay a fair share of property tax.
TAPMO is committed to ensuring that the aggregate levy adequately covers the cost of infrastructure repair for municipalities that host aggregate operations and that property taxes are not unfairly reduced as a result.