The Muskoka Ratepayers' Association represents ALL residents, taxpayers and business owners in the Township of Muskoka Lakes. Our priorities are monitoring of local government, property taxation and economic development, environmental issues and timely communications with our members.
Many thanks to all of you who joined us for our Annual General Meeting on July 16. The feed back has been great and we trust it was of benefit to you. A summary of the meeting will be posted in the next few days.
Also, thanks to all of you who renewed your memberships. If you have not done so yet, please consider doing so.
The Council of the Township of Muskoka Lakes approved the budget for 2016 at their meeting this morning (March 18). The 2016 operating budget is 4.02% higher than last year's, and the tax rate is 1.72% greater than in 2015. The Township estimates that this will add $1.80 for every $100,000 of assessed value (for residential properties). You should also note that your assessment has likely gone up again this year due the the phase in on property assessments over a 4 year period.
The approved township budget can be found here - TML - Approved 2016 Budget
The Township budget accounts for only a portion (approximately 17%) of your tax bill, the other components being the District and Education. More will be published later as the specific tax rates are known.
Finally, it should be noted that the Township budget also calls for the further drawing down of its discretionary reserves (something like their savings account) to pay for primarily capital items. Details are contained in the budget document.
The new Council has been in office for over 100 days. How are they doing? - Read more about Township of Muskoka Lakes - 100 Day Report Card
The Township has established a "Bala Falls Working Committee" including 3 members of Council, 2 from Swift River, the Interim CAO, and an independent chair. This committee has met 6 times to date, and focuses on issues that the Township has some control over. The Muskoka Ratepayers’ Association has not in the past, nor do we now, take a position for or against the proposed small hydro plant at Bala Falls. Since the proposal first surfaced in 2005, it has been the subject of countless environmental and technical studies, public meetings, delegations to Councils, and consultant reports. Its progress through the labyrinth of approvals has been well considered and reviewed by both provincial and municipal political and administrative levels over a lengthy period of time. Its cost to the taxpayer has been significant. - Read more about Bala Falls - Small Hydro Electric Plant
The Comprehensive Zoning By-Law (2014-14) was passed in a recorded vote of six to three at the February 13 Council meeting. The time for appeals has passed, and there are a number that have been filed. - Read more about Comprehensive Zoning By-Law - 2014-14
October, November, December is the time of year that waterfront property owners with boathouses and docks start up their "Bubbler" systems it seems. The Muskoka Ratepayers' Association has been researching the use of these "Ice-away" devices and the need for their prudent use. The MRA feel the need, the intensity and the safety of using these systems was worthy of our comments being published. Please click on De-Icer Systems which will discuss our Best Suggested Practices. . - Read more about Best Suggested Operating Practices for Dock & Boat House De-icer Systems
To Renew your Membership or to Join the Muskoka Ratepayers' Association