New Burlington budget could see city taxes rise by more than 5 per cent

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Published October 25, 2021 at 4:44 pm

Next week will be the first chance for Burlington residents to get a look at a proposed city budget that could see taxes rise by more than three per cent.

When combined with the estimated regional and education tax levies, the overall projected tax increase for a Burlington homeowner in 2022 is 3.18 per cent or $24.76 per $100,000 of assessment.

For example, homeowners with a home assessed at $500,000 would pay an additional $123.80 per year or $2.38 per week.

This represents a 5.45 per cent increase to the City’s portion of the tax bill.

An overview of the 2022 budget will be presented at the Corporate Services, Strategy, Risk and Accountability Committee meeting Nov. 3 at 9:30 a.m.

The committee will see both the proposed operating and capital budget and forecast for the coming year.

“The budget process is one of the most important exercises the city undertakes each year,” said Mayor Marianne Meed Ward.

“Determining key spending priorities in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is challenging as COVID continues to present significant financial impacts. To assist City Council in the budget process, we want residents and taxpayers to share their input and tell us what services are important to them.”

Each year, during the City’s budget process, decisions are made to ensure an appropriate balance between affordability, maintaining service levels and financial sustainability over the long term.

The proposed 2022 budget focuses on mitigating the financial impacts of COVID-19, maintaining service levels, ensuring city assets are maintained in a good state of repair, and upholding legislative requirements while ensuring competitive property taxes.
The proposed 2022 capital budget is $77.3 million, with a ten-year program of $829.5 million. From this total, 68.5 per cent is for infrastructure renewal, 15.1 per cent goes towards growth-related projects, 12.8 per cent is for new/enhanced projects and 3.6 per cent goes towards green projects which support the City’s climate goals.

The proposed 2022 operating budget is $284.8 million and includes new funding to support:

  • Sustaining city services ($685,333)
  • Additional funding for on-going recreation facility maintenance to meet lifecycle requirements and reduce risk
  • One-time funding to support a Gypsy Moth spraying program in 2022
  • One-time funding to extend the contracts of two bylaw officers
  • Enhancing services ($199,130)
  • Funding to make the free transit for seniors pilot a permanent program
  • Operating expenses to support the new Orchard Community Hub
  • Modifications to services to address COVID-19 ($332,733)
  • Funding to make the bus cleaning pilot program permanent
  • Dedicated operations space for building inspection and bylaw enforcement staff.

An additional opportunity for public input on the 2022 budget will be held on Monday, Nov. 22, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. during a virtual town hall hosted by Meed Ward.

The live, online meeting provides residents an opportunity to learn more and ask questions of city staff about the proposed 2022 budget priorities.

“While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to provide significant financial challenges for the City, the 2022 budget process will focus on maintaining the city’s financial position, addressing corporate risks, and ensuring residents continue to receive the programs and services that provide a high quality of life in Burlington,” said Joan Ford, the city’s Director of Finance.

More information about the budget can be found on the city’s website.

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