The Question of Railway Taxation
Publication:
The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 24 Mar 1904, p. 125-137


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The Question of Railway Taxation


This question of railway taxation only two or three years old in this Province. Opponents of railway taxation and what they say. The speaker's response to that opposition. Our miles of railway and what they have cost the people. The advantage, under the bonding privilege, that there is no International boundary line. Railways in Canada and in the United States may freely cross into the other country to seek traffic for which they charge. The issue as to the burden of taxation being shared by the United States. How the question of railway taxation became a serious problem in the U.S. after the Civil War. Different systems of taxation that have been tried in the U.S. and in Canada. Our two current systems of taxation of railways properties in Ontario: Municipal assessment of railway property and the supplementary revenue on the flat rate of $5 per mile of every mile of railway in the Province. The fact that neither one of these systems are satisfactory, and a discussion as to why that is so. Systems of taxation on earnings, as seen in Manitoba and Quebec. The "ad valorem" system of taxation for Municipal purposes in Ontario: should it be applied to railways and who should apply it. Boards of Assessment. A discussion, and an examination of the U.S. system of railway property assessment. Problems and difficulties, and examples from the U.S. Figures for the Grand Trunk Railway system: miles and dollars. The speaker's point of view and his expectation that the people of Ontario will receive in a few years from now, if not immediately, a great source of revenue from the railways of this country. Lightening the burden of taxation to every individual in the Province of Ontario by having the railway companies pay into the treasury or into the municipalities their fair share of taxes. The argument that the more the railways are taxed, the better the rates will be.