Proposed 7.82 tax hike on the table as Burlington mayor seeks public input on spending plans

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Published October 25, 2023 at 11:32 am

Burlington tax mayor budget

As the City of Burlington heads into budget deliberations, Mayor Marianne Meed Wards wants to know what you think about spending priorities.

Faced with a proposed 7.82 per cent tax increase next year, Burlington residents have a chance to have a say in the process at a virtual town hall meeting slated for Nov. 7.

Hosted by the mayor, the telephone town hall will focus on the budget and allow participants to ask questions about spending priorities for 2024.

The mayor will be joined by members of the City’s finance team and other senior staff members.

Participants will be randomly selected to be part of the telephone meeting. To join the call list email [email protected].

More details about participating can be found here.

The meeting runs from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

The proposed tax increase follows a 7.44 per cent rise this year. This amounted to an actual dollar value increase of $60.31 per $100,000 of a residential property’s current value assessment.

Pressures on the City that are driving costs include inflation, growth, reduced funding from senior levels of government and upgrading aging infrastructure.

“Burlington is a growing, changing and ever-improving city,” the preliminary budget report states. “Similar to 2023, the 2024 Budget will require significant investment to ensure residents continue to receive the programs and services that provide for the high quality of life in Burlington.”

Significantly, the report says the City remains in a state of “catch up” as services and amenities have not kept pace with population growth. Some City councillors point to low tax rates in previous years as the reason why services have not kept pace.

On the other hand, expensive ongoing projects will continue to impact the City’s budget in years to come. These include the purchase and renewal of the old Robert Bateman school ($100 million), the Skyway Community Centre ($40 million), free transit for seniors, and expanded transit operations, among others.

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