Adapted from City of Burlington press release: Review by members of council of the City of Burlington’s proposed 2018 operating budget will take place on Monday, Jan. 18 at 9:30 a.m. at the Committee of the Whole budget meeting.
The 2018 operating budget delivers a base budget increase of 0.46 per cent to maintain city service levels (after being reduced by .41% in “assessment growth” from new taxpayers as a result of new developments).
Other impacts to the 2018 operating budget include:
- $1.9 million or an additional tax increase of 1.25 per cent dedicated to the renewal of city infrastructure as outlined in the Asset Management Plan.
- $1 million or an additional tax increase of 0.65 per cent for legislative changes to the Employment Standards and Labour Relations Acts (Bill 148) including increases to minimum wage.
- $1.3 million or an additional tax increase of 0.84 per cent for changes in transit to provide operational sustainability.
- $1.2 million or an additional tax increase of 0.78 per cent for impacts from the 2014 arbitrated Fire settlement.
- $320,000 or an additional tax increase of 0.21 per cent to enhance maintenance standards on city sports fields.
- The capital program represents the largest investment from tax dollars. Of the $159.9 million collected through the tax levy, $34.72 million will fund the capital program. The capital budget was approved in December.
These changes deliver a total city tax increase in the proposed 2018 operating budget of 4.19 per cent. When combined with Halton Region’s proposed tax increase and no change for education, the overall tax increase is projected at 2.49 per cent or $21.03 per $100,000 of Current Value Assessment.
More money for transit
There is an additional proposal from transit staff for five extra transit drivers to provide a buffer of “layover and recovery time” to ensure schedules and connections are met in the case of traffic, weather or other impacts. Current standards are 13 per cent recovery time; Burlington Transit is currently below this threshold 65 per cent of the time.
If the extra drivers are added to the budget, there’s an additional increase of $372,424, or .24 per cent, bringing the city-only portion of the tax increase to 4.34 per cent.
Historic tax increases, comparison
According to an analysis by finance staff, since 2011, overall tax increases in Burlington (when blended with Region and Education taxes) have averaged 1.9 per cent. In a comparison of property taxes in municipalities in the Great Toronto Hamilton Area, Burlington’s property taxes are the third lowest for a residential single-family detached home, say staff. City of Burlington taxes for a home assessed at $500,000 are $1,900.25.
Council approval of the proposed 2018 operating budget is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 22, at 6:30 p.m.
Members of the public who would like to speak at the Committee of the Whole budget meeting as a delegation can register by calling 905-335-7600, ext. 7481 or visiting burlington.ca/delegation. The deadline to register as a delegation for the Jan. 18 meeting is noon on Jan. 17, 2018.
On Jan. 10, 2018 at 6:30 p.m., Ward 4 Councillor Jack Dennison will host a 2018 budget meeting, open to the public. The meeting will be held at Holy Cross Lutheran Church at 3455 Lakeshore Rd.
Links and Resources
A copy of the proposed operating budget is available online at www.burlington.ca/budget.
For more information about Burlington’s budgets, visit www.burlington.ca/budget.
Learn more about Burlington’s Asset Management Plan.
Watch a video about Burlington’s long-term financial strategy.
Watch for My Take and proposed amendments in an upcoming post. I believe there are ways to reduce the tax impact, and I also support the additional investment in transit.