Milton decides to live with a 5.45% tax increase

By Pepper Parr

December 7th, 2021



The Town of Milton bit the bullet and accepted a 5.47tax increase last night is there a message for Burlington Marianne Meed Ward?

Milton Mayor Gord Krantz has been saying for some time that Burlington is going to have to get used to higher buildings and higher taxes.

The antics at city Council last week look like an attempt to stem the tide.

With the budget being debated at 4.95% perhaps council should quite while they are ahead.

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2 comments to Milton decides to live with a 5.45% tax increase

  • Philip Waggett

    Recognizing that different governments have different needs, it should also be stressed that Halton Region’s tax increase was kept at or below 2% this year. Note the following approach to budgeting by Gary Carr which clearly kept a fiscal target in mind (it is also noted that Carr is NOT a Liberal):

    “Halton Region’s Budget Directions Report lays the foundation for keeping taxes low in 2022 while investing in key priorities for our community. The Report was approved by Regional Council on July 14, and it directs Halton staff to maintain property tax rate increases at or below the rate of inflation (2.0 per cent) while supporting our ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

  • Chris Ariens

    This is where the rubber hits the road so to speak. Burlington is designed as a low-density community, which means we have a lot of maintainance obligations for capital invetments (roads, sewers, etc.) relative to the tax base. Milton is going down the same path, although they seem to be encouraging more greenfield growth, that growth doesn’t provide the revenues to sustain itself very long.

    We have a built-in 1.25% increase in overall taxes just to go towards maintenance of our infrastructure. It’s important to remember that is cumulative, so 10 years from now that will be an extra 13.2% every year before we even consider any other budget needs. And it’s clear from the most recent reporting from the city that amount is nowhere near enough to keep up with what is needed for state of good repair.

    Council has to make the tough decisions. Do we make more sacrifices in terms of the everyday services residents are used to? Do we skimp on making the needed rapid transition of our city’s structure so that we can get to a more sustainable place (both ecologically and financially speaking)? Do we keep drawing down reserves which have been maintained for important longer-term priorities? The housing crisis, the climate crisis, the ongoing pandemic and keeping up with the workforce needed to manage the city all require rapid and sustained investment. Add to that the return of inflation globally, and the decisions will only get tougher next year. Our leaders need to focus on the vision, instead of trying to manage to a fixed percentage increase and punting all the problems ahead to the next term.