Burlington residents should brace themselves for big tax hikes going forward


Published July 15, 2022 at 2:52 pm

Budget deliberations are still months away, but Burlington council got a grim look at what lies ahead.

A staff report presented at the council meeting of Tuesday, July 12, projected an average municipal tax increase of 6.21 per cent, per year, over the next five years.

This number, which fluctuates between 7.39% and 4.29% in any given year, anticipates things like inflation and continuing revenue loss from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“The budget framework has opened our eyes to the challenges we face, including a number of factors outside of our control,” said Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward.

“We’ve surpassed our growth targets 12 years early, and are now faced with the need for additional community amenities, such as parks, and service levels catching up to the population growth. We have to provide the services a growing population needs while we’re waiting for growth assessments to catch up.”

When combined with the projected tax rates of Halton region and the school boards, the rate is 3.4%, half of the inflation rate.

“Many councils and municipalities try to be in line with inflation — this is half. We also have to make sure our compensation for staff remains competitive because of the tight labour market. When we invest in people, we ensure we are continuing to serve our community at the levels we all expect.”

The mayor said she expects this will be a tough budget year that will be one of the first things dealt with by the new council following October’s election.

“As I’ve done in every budget over the last 12 years, I’ll also be looking for savings or deferrals, where feasible and sustainable, while building the services we need for our growing population.”

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