Burlington residents facing property tax increase of more than 7 per cent

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Published January 9, 2023 at 11:11 am

Burlington City Hall

Burlington politicians are warning local residents to brace for a larger-than-normal municipal tax increase the next couple of years.

The 2023 budget process kicks off with a report to councillors today that calls for a 7.08 per cent total increase, which includes increases from Halton region and school boards. The City portion of the increase is 5.90 per cent.

“The proposed 2023 budget includes many important investments needed now to improve City services and protect the quality of life Burlington residents enjoy,” said City manager Tim Commisso.

“In addition to dealing with higher inflation and the continued impacts of the pandemic, the City has fallen behind in a number of service areas and requires that immediate additional funding be directed towards infrastructure like roads and parks that cost more each year to maintain; improving city services like bylaw enforcement, animal control, transit and fires services; new city services including two new community centers and automated speed enforcement; and ensuring we remain market competitive to attract and retain talented City employees.

“Overall, our proposed 2023 budget results in a total tax increase that is in line with current inflation in Ontario.”

According to the report, both the 2023 and 2024 budgets will be challenging.

“Today in Burlington, almost three years of COVID-19 impacts have meant revenue losses and increased expenses. Our city has not kept pace with investing in the services and amenities that our growing community needs. This means we need more amenities like community centres to support our residents. The city must continue to invest in our infrastructure such as our roads, buildings and transit buses.”

The 2023 proposed budget will:

  • maintain service levels while recognizing higher than average inflation
  • address the continued financial impacts of COVID-19
  • dedicate funding to ensure our $5.2 billion of assets are maintained in a state of good repair
  • include community investments for the next 50 years such as two new community centers planned to open over the next few years
  • stabilize and enhance city services and address the immediate need for an updated non-union compensation program that keeps salaries market competitive
  • provide more city services to residents and businesses online digitally

Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward, who last year worked hard to minimize the tax increase, is supporting this year’s higher numbers.

“This budget invests in the services our growing community needs, while playing catch-up. Growth never fully pays for growth, and the province’s Bill 23 cuts municipal funding for things like community centres, transit, libraries and parks,” she said.

“Nevertheless, we’re committed to ensuring you get the services you need, now and for the future. We also continue to face ongoing challenges of inflation, revenue loss due to the pandemic and a very competitive labour market. We’ve accounted for that in this budget.

“We’re building a strong foundation for our community, not just for this term but for the next generation.”

To keep track of opportunities to have your say about the budget, visit the city webpage.

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