Where is our share? [Mining Taxes] – by Kate McLaren (Timmins Daily Press – July 6, 2011)

The Daily Press is the newspaper of record for the city of Timmins.

Northern leaders seek mining tax revenue

Communities in Northern Ontario are looking for a piece of the pie when it comes to taxes generated from the mining industry.

“When you look at the resource-based industry, it’s important we are able to build some sort of a legacy from our mining resources,” explained Timmins mayor and Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities (FONOM) vice-president Tom Laughren.

“We are struggling for infrastructure and capital dollars, when the provincial and federal governments are benefiting from this mining tax.” FONOM is calling for an equitable share of the rich mining tax revenue currently collected by the provincial government, which have totalled more than half a billion dollars over the past five years.

Laughren said it’s a project he’s been working on since he first took office as Timmins mayor, but it hasn’t been very well-received by the province until recently.

“The last time FONOM met with the Northern Liberal caucus a few months ago, there seemed to be some receptiveness to the idea, and because we’re going into a provincial election, we want to make sure this is on a platform going forward.”

With the rapid growth of the mining industry in Northern Ontario, FONOM president Alan Spacek money generated from resources in the area should flow back to the area.

“Northern Ontario is a vast storehouse of mineral wealth,” stated Spacek in a press release. “In recent years, Northern Ontario has returned record levels of revenue to the provincial government.

“We are once again a major economic contributor.”

In the Ontario Mining Association’s March 2011 report, president Chris Hodgson expressed interest in the possibility of the tax sharing initiative, a hopeful sign for FONOM representatives.

For the rest of this article, please go to the Timmins Daily Press website: http://www.thedailypress.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3200494