For Immediate Release:
October 22, 2021

Sarnia, Ontario – Lambton Federation of Agriculture opposes elimination of the Sarnia Transit Area Rating

The Lambton Federation of Agriculture (LFA) is very concerned about the proposal coming to City Council on October 25, 2021 to eliminate the Transit Area rating for the 2022 Budget and subsequent years, thereby including all Transit costs in the General Tax Rate for all City of Sarnia property owners.

The transit special service area levy was set up in 2003, and in 2017 a proposal was put forward to eliminate it, subject to a public consultation.

We spoke against that proposal then as we are now. The facts haven’t changed much since 2017.

In 2016, the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) updated assessments on all properties in Lambton County to be used for property tax purposes. Farm assessments in Lambton County have increased since then by an average of 65%

The disproportionate increases in farm assessments increased the farm tax burden from approximately 5.4% of county taxes in 2016 to nearly 8% of county taxes in 2020.

The results of the public consultation in 2017 showed that 63 percent of respondents favoured keeping the current method of taxation for conventional transit, and only 36 percent agreed that conventional transit is a public service, payable by all property owners, regardless of if they will ever see the service come to their area.

Farmers recognize that the service will never come to their area of the city, and elimination of the transit service area would increase the shift of tax burden onto farm families within the city limits.

Farmers cannot pass these additional costs onto their customers; it will only succeed in directly reducing net farm income for local farm families.

These farm families are excluded from directly using the regular city transit line and their tax burden over the years is already increasing due to increasing MPAC assessments.

The LFA is encouraging Sarnia City Council to maintain the transit service area levy enacted in 2003 with by-law 40, in 2010 with by-law 53, and in 2018 with by-law 52, subsequently amended in 2019.


The Lambton Federation of Agriculture is a non-profit general farm organization in Lambton County who helps and supports farmers with issues relating to their farm operations.

Sarnia City Council Correspondence #1 – September 11, 2017 – Finance Department Open Session Report
(pages 49 to 173)

Sarnia City Council Agenda and correspondence – October 25, 2021

Gary Martin, President
Lambton Federation of Agriculture
519-864-4224 |

Lambton Federation of Agriculture opposes elimination of the Sarnia Transit Area Rating
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