Halton Hills residents should brace for large property tax increase
In her January message to Halton Hills residents, Mayor Ann Lawlor outlined the difficult budget decisions she and her council will have to make.
Economic factors outside the town’s control, things like inflation, the cost of gas and insurance, continue to rise, but it’s her preference that a proposed 7.4 per cent tax increase be whittled down.
“It’s my sense that this is not the year for big property tax increases, and that is the message I’ll be sharing with my council colleagues.”
A rise in taxes is something that other Halton municipalities are realizing is a necessary step this year. Burlington’s tax increase is projected to be 5.8 per cent and Oakville’s is 5.43 per cent.
Lawlor said the key items driving the cost of running the town are:
- Economic conditions like inflation, a possible recession, employment rates and salaries
- Population growth and demand for more facilities and services
- Managing risk, maintaining roads and buildings in good repair and keeping services at a standard
“As for economic conditions, we are all dealing with increases – grocery shopping leaves a bigger hole in our pockets, interest rates are up, mortgage and rental rates are rising and filling the car and heating oil tanks is more costly. The Town is paying more for goods and services, too. There are pressures that salaries should keep pace with inflation.”
The Province’s Bill 23, which is forcing new growth on Ontario municipalities while, at the same time, restricting their ability to collect development charges, will also put pressure on budgets going foward.
“Every municipal council in Ontario is struggling with the new provincial rules,” said Lawlor.
“With recent legislation, the Province is restricting development charges so that growth related to new home construction will have to be subsidized by existing property taxpayers.”
Lawlor promised the Town will continue to ensure, “the plows make their rounds on wintry days and the splash pads spurt water on hot summer days. Grass in our parks and playing fields will be mowed, trees will be planted; ActiVan will get people to appointments and swimming pools will be staffed.”insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising