Nearly 2% tax increase proposed for Mayor Brown’s ‘Brampton advantage’ 2024 budget

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Published November 29, 2023 at 10:31 am

patrick brown brampton mayor budget
Mayor Patrick Brown spoke with reporters at Brampton City Hall on Nov. 29, 2023.

Mayor Patrick Brown says his proposed city budget will help build “a Brampton advantage” and attract investments with a lower tax rate compared to neighbouring municipalities.

The city revealed details on the proposed 2024 Brampton budget on Wednesday, which Brown said puts a priority on health care, transit, recreation, community safety, environment, roads and infrastructure.

Budget deliberations start next month but if approved without any amendments would see the city make what Brown called a “record contribution to reserves” and introduce a 1.9 per cent property tax hike – an increase Brown boasted as the lowest in the GTA.

That increase would come to an additional $118 per household on top of the 4.5 per cent increase from the Region of Peel, but lower than 2.44 percent in Mississauga and September’s 3.8 per cent rate in inflation.

The proposed operating and capital budgets come to $912.6 million and $543.6 million respectively, and includes a $139 million contribution to reserves, $78.4 million for the purchase and upkeep of Brampton Transit buses, 136 new transit operators adding 108,000 service hours, and $3.8 million for the expansion of Züm service.

The budget also includes a continuation of the 1 per cent Peel Memorial Centre hospital levy and says there was $74 million in reserves earmarked for the redesign project as of September.

“This budget is all about building a blueprint for a Brampton advantage,” Brown said – a tagline he used to describe the city’s investments in public safety, transit and health care, as well as attracting businesses to the city.

“We want to build that momentum, and we’re starting to see it,” he said, pointing to Brampton projects like the $265 million Magna International electric vehicle battery facility and Lululemon Athletica’s Brampton facility.

The 2024 budget season is the first since Ontario introduced controversial “Strong Mayor” rules, which leaves mayors of municipalities under the legislation responsible for proposing the municipal budget.

With residents feeling the sting from the rising cost of living, Brown said he weighed each line item on whether it was necessary for the city or a “nice to have.”

Brown said the city is also tripling its stock of automated speed enforcement (ASE) cameras from 50 to 150 and bringing another 50 high-resolution cameras to busy intersections to help police crack down on auto crime and make Brampton “the most inconvenient place for criminal organizations to operate.”

At the Regional level, a budget of $5.9 billion has been proposed which is expected to be Peel Region’s last year before Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon become separate municipalities.

Peel Regional Police asked for a more $74 million boost which will help with funding for an additional 135 new police officers, more civilian staff and 911 resources.

Brampton’s budget deliberations begin on Dec. 5.

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