- by Jim Hutton

The first impact of successive years of high tax increases is that people move to avoid property taxes or high rents. Owen Sound has experienced annual tax increases at twice the rate of inflation over the last twenty years. We can see this when we look at the change in those filing income taxes between 2012 and 2020 as shown in graph below. (data for Meaford and Georgian Bluffs was not available at Stats) During this period, this group grew by 5.51% in Collingwood and 4.94% in Brockville that has a population nearly identical to that of Owen Sound.

During this same period the population of people filing income tax on wages went down by 2.13% in Owen Sound. Why is this?


There’s no question about it, we are losing our wage earners. Where are they going? In all likelihood, wage earners are just moving across municipal boundaries to reduce one of the growing strains on their family finances – high Taxes and the high rents that result from high taxes. After all, they can continue to enjoy everything that Owen Sound has to offer, while living in Georgian Bluffs or just East of 28th Avenue in Meaford. This hypothesis is supported by the next graph that shows the relative changes in population over the past 20 years for Owen Sound, Meaford and Georgian Bluffs.


We see that Meaford grew the most at 10.63% followed by Georgian Bluffs which grew by 9.61%. Then we have Owen Sound, which grew less than one percent during this 20 year period from 2011 to 2021. Although this looks like Owen Sound is actually growing, albeit slowly, it really isn’t.


The graph above demonstrates the relative change in growth during this period (2011 to 2021). The trend lines (dashed lines) that extend to the future two census periods show where things are headed. You can visually see that the plots for both Georgian Bluffs and Meaford are heading upwards. It is difficult to assess which way Owen Sound’s growth is headed. So we need to look at the slope of the trend line which is given in the first part of the equation for the straight line which is: y = -2.36x + 26,318. We see that the slope of the trend line is negative which means that the Trend line is headed down. Theoretically there will be a time in the distant future that both Georgian Bluffs and Meaford have greater populations than Owen Sound.

Just think about that for a minute – c

* Reproduced from “Owen Sound is Slowly Dying” at www.owensoundtaxes.com



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