Municipalities are going to have to find a way to hold the line on local taxes

By Pepper Parr

September 18th, 2023



Here is what is happening in Ajax, Whitby, Oshawa, Pickering, Clarington – will it be any different in Burlington, Milton and Oakville.

Ajax and Clarington are not unlike Burlington – the tax experience there is what Burlington might be looking at before the end of the year.

Durham Region chief administrative officer Elaine Baxter-Trahir and commissioner of finance Nancy Taylor both warned that 2025-28 could see high property tax increases for years to come.

The pair of senior Region bureaucrats delivered a whopping recommended increase of 9.75 per cent to the Region’s finance committee on Tuesday morning, made up of a 2.50 per cent increase alone to the Durham Regional Police Service — including 76 new positions, 20 of which will be front line officers — and 7.25 per cent for other increases.

The bottom line is that for an average house assessed in Durham Region in 2023 at $483,100, the property owner will pay an additional $301 in 2024. As the Region represents 52 per cent of the property tax bill, the real increase for property taxpayers will be 5 per cent, but that will be blended with the local municipal tax increase you’ll receive.

“A very difficult message to communicate is that this is not just a one-year levy increase,” said Taylor.

“We have been suggesting for many years that the funding model between the province and federal government and municipalities has needed to be addressed and is finally coming all to a critical point at the same time,” she said of the large increase.

For the people of Burlington – This is the time to let your city Councillors know what you are prepared to pay for and not prepared to pay for.

This year the budget will be presented to the public by the Mayor and be known is as the “Mayor’s Budget”.

Related news item:

Can Mayor Meed Ward learn how to stop spending?

Mayor working on her strut

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