Kenora ratepayer John Seamchuk's looking for answers. He says tax increases on his waterfront home on the Black Sturgeon are driving him out of the market.

"I don't want to -- in 15 years or so -- worry about if somebody's going to want to buy my house, if somebody will buy my house," Seamchuk said.

He also referred to a previous comment from council, where councillors voiced concerns about the doubling of property tax rates, if more help wasn't forthcoming from upper levels of government for the maintenance of roads, bridges and water systems. Seamchuk said his property tax bill would exceed $2,000 a month, if his tax bill doubled, and he didn't think anybody would be able to afford it.

Members of council welcomed his comments, and also answered questions about options for tiered taxation or the annexation of unincorporated territories. Mayor Dave Canfield noted he lived close by, and he understood very well the concerns of his neighbours.

Former residents of Jaffray Melick have lobbied for changes to taxation before. Canfield served as Mayor of the township, before the province forced a merger with the Town of Kenora in 2000, and he encouraged more lobbying, as it gave him more ammunition, when he went to Queen's Park for reforms.

When it came to shared services, such as fire protection, Seamchuk chuckled. He said his insurance company considered him to be too far out of town, so he was paying higher premiums.

Canfield noted bag tags paid for the cost of garbage, and the municipal water system was on a user-pay basis.

Councillors also noted the gallery was often empty, when they discussed budgets, and they welcomed the input.

A municipal election is expected next fall.

For more information:

A Candidate's Guide to Municipal Elections

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