Brampton considers tax levy to help pay $125 million local share of new hospital


Published October 22, 2021 at 1:27 pm

Brampton is debating implementing a special tax levy  to fund the conversion of the Peel Memorial Centre into a second, fully operational hospital in Brampton.

During a City Council meeting on Wednesday (October 20), Pat Fortini councillor for Wards 7 and 8 proposed a motion, which passed unanimously, that council look into the feasibility of a levy in order to provide their portion of funding.

Under the current framework, the City would be responsible for a certain portion of funding, which could cost an estimated $125 million by 2027, according to David Barrick, Chief Administrative Officer with the City of Brampton.

However, this is an estimate, not an exact figure, as representatives from the hospital are still looking at an exact dollar amount the City would need to contribute.

“They’re trying to base their calculations on what the local share has been in other municipalities that are currently engaged in hospital builds,” Mayor Patrick Brown said.

According to Fortini, the new facility is needed because Brampton Civic Hospital is treating an average of 400 to 450 patients per day, or approximately 3,000 per week.

“Patients are being left in the hallways. It’s causing a crisis here in Brampton, and it’s pretty shameful what we have to go through to receive health care,” he said during the meeting.

The levy, if implemented, would be an addition to what people are already paying in property taxes.

“If we implement a tax levy, I doubt people will complain about paying a little more each year for the next eight years for health care, because everyone uses it,” Fortini said.

If the estimate is accurate, this would mean a tax increase of approximately 25 per cent would be necessary to raise the funds, which would be spread out over multiple years.

“For the average household paying roughly $5,200 per year, you’re looking at an increase of $1,200 to $1,300, and then we would work on how we would phase that in over what period of time,” Mark Medeiros, director of finance for the City of Brampton, said. “Osler is looking to have that funding by 2027, so if you’re to divide by six years, it would be about a four- to five-per-cent increase that would have to be included in the budget shortly.”

A meeting between hospital representatives and City Council is scheduled for November 3, when more information regarding how much the City will be required to provide could be available, and Fortini stressed the City needs to be prepared with a plan to raise the money.

“I want staff to come back with a plan for how we’re going to come up with our share,” he said. “I don’t want to end up pulling the plug on this because we can’t come up with the funding.”

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