Official: tax increase over 2020 budget will be 4.14% - 18.99 per $100,000 of assessment.

budget 2021By Pepper Parr

March 3rd 2021



It is now official.

Council voted for a tax levy of $182,276,388 which will mean a 4.14% increase in the 2020 city portion of the tax bill.

Angelo watching RoruWard 6 Councillor Angelo Bentivegna votes against the budget.

That budget will mean an additional $18.99 per 100,000 of assessment value/

It was a tough budget; the toughest this council has had to deal with.

The COVID issues muddied up almost everything.

Mayor Mead Ward was gracious in her comments about the role each member of Council played in landing the budget.

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10 comments to Official: tax increase over 2020 budget will be 4.14% – 18.99 per $100,000 of assessment.

  • Lisa Cooper

    Still, from Council and all through City Hall employee’s they all kept their full paychecks, while most of City Hall was shut down. Unlike most Burlington residents that either had their hours cutback or laid off indefinitely. I’d like to see any of them live off what CERB was giving, but hey what’s 4% in a pandemic (sarcasm in case anybody missed it)

    Editor’s note: Staff worked from their homes and in many many cases they put in even longer hours.

  • Alfred

    Landlords will be allowed to raise the rents of their tenants by 0%. Thats right they are allowed no increase for 2021. Even though their taxes will increase by 4.14%.

    The Mayor complains that there are not enough rental units in Burlington. You would have to be crazy to be a landlord in Burlington. Better still we should hire the landlords of Burlington to run the City and get rid of Mayor and most of the councilors.

  • Diane Knox

    In my 50 years as a taxpayer in Burlington I have never seen a budget like this that Ignores Reality. As we deal with this Pandemic on the ‘street’ level’ with lost jobs, lost wages, lost business, dependency on Food Banks and No increase or return/ increase on any investments/pensions etc.-to think that this Council and Major would sit in their private meetings and pass this Budget is Unbelievable. We have lost the sense of community, of compassion and understanding and helping in Burlington.. Note I attribute their decision to No political party. I voted for my rep on his/her focus on local taxpayer issues I wish they had followed this.

  • Richard Guest

    It’s remarkable that we could have much of an increase in budget- for n my any of the reasons Alan shared. Those of us who have managed multi-million dollar budgets know that in tough years, tough decisions need to be made. 2020 & 2021 are just those kinds of years! As a retiree, on fixed income that doesn’t grow much at all, let alone 4+%, any increase makes NO sense!

    The cost of groceries rose about 2.5 per cent in 2020 and trending to continue into 2021 as the fall-out from the pandemic continues to be felt, with food inflation seen outpacing the general inflation rate. While RBC is forecasting a 2 to 2.5 per cent rise in food prices for 2021, Canada’s Food Price Report is predicting a steeper rise of 3 to 5 per cent overall. Meat and vegetable prices are expected to increase between 4.5 and 6.5 per cent, while fruits are expected to cost between 2 and 4 per cent more.(CTV News December 20, 2020)

    Canadian grocery bills went up in 2020, according to a report published by researchers at Dalhousie University with support from the University of Guelph, the University of Saskatchewan and the University of British Columbia. That bill could climb another $695 more in 2021 compared to 2020 for a family of four, researchers predicted.
    So, again, help us understand how ANY increase in budgets could be justified?

  • bill

    I think our city councilors should be ashamed or themselves! As Alan said, the city has been closed for a year.

  • Alan Harrington

    How can tax go up when the City was CLOSED all year?

    City Hall, Libraries, Hockey Rinks, Playgrounds, Swimming Pools, Sports fields, Gyms, Performing Arts Centre. Museums. Theatres. Court Houses… ALL slammed shut and sealed up tight.

    No Sound of Music Concerts, Ribfest or other festivals to clean up.
    Transit buses ran empty (sometimes) to empty GO Train Stations.
    No Christmas Parade(s). No Remembrance Day. Even the Cherry Blossoms got fenced in.
    Schools closed. Churches closed. Gymnastics, dance halls, daycares, barbershops restaurants, stores, malls. No beachfront. No water fountains. No boats in LaSalle marina.

    No Wedding groups, no funeral groups, no street parties, no Santa visits, no Terry Fox Run.
    No “Round the Bay” Race, No Canada Day ceremony or fireworks,

    What was one thing we GAINED in the City of Burlington to show for the tax increase in 2020?

    • Phillip Wooster

      Excellent points, Alan. Two major problems exist at City Hall. The first is the political focus of the Mayor and the Council—they all believe that government is the answer to every problem. Hence, the willingness, like their Liberal cousins in Ottawa, to embrace tax and spend. This municipal government lives in an alternate universe to the taxpayers. The private sector has borne immense costs and continues to do so–high unemployment, reduced incomes, increased bankruptcies and yet the economic dogma in vogue in City Hall is to fight recession with higher taxes. Only Liberals believe in that ideology.

      The second problem is that real budgeting within operating departments is non-existent. There is no zero-based budgeting with line item analysis. It’s far too easy for department managers to protect their empires by taking last year’s number, add a percentage to it, and pass on the cost to the taxpayers. No pain for them, much pain for taxpayers. Anyone else see what is wrong with this picture?

      Kudos to Bentivegna–one of the few Councillors with REAL private sector experience. The rest of these Councillors have no real understanding of their decisions on the taxpayers, they think they do but they don’t feel the pain.

      Editor’s note: Both Councillors Sharman and Kearns have very significant private sector experience at the major corporate level. Councillor Galbraith has run a number of small but very successful business operations. Councillor Stolte has worked in the private sector – real estate.

      • Phillip Wooster

        I read your note Pepper but here is my take on the “backgrounds’ of these councillors–Sharman has now been 11 years removed from the private sector; Kearns” resume mentions private sector experience, particularly financial, but nowhere in my research is there anything specific–has this been validated; Stolte has 30 years experience in social work before only 4 years operating “a consulting business”; on Galbraith, I stand corrected.

        • Blair Smith

          Well, if you consider ‘the big 4 Consulting firms’ “private sector”, I would love to have a discussion with you. They’re as bad as the picture that you repeatedly paint of the public sector and would also include the banks, insurance companies and large technology firms imo. That’s in relation to Councillor Sharman and point well taken regardless. As far as Lisa Kearns, I would direct you to the following.

 I think that her experience well qualifies.

          And Councillor Stolte was a shining light in the budget discussion, putting forward proposals for reduction that hit at the heart of COB entitlement – the salaries of staff and Council. She also “campaigned” for greater transparency and accountability – a rare quality with this group.

          • Phillip Wooster

            Blair, I’ve worked as a consultant to a major retail operation and I’ve run my own business. There is no comparison between the two experiences. I’ve found companies to be as bureaucratic as the public sector. But thank-you for the update of Lisa Kearns; although I had spent time researching her background I didn’t find the link you referred me to.

            As for Stolte, her proposal while symbolically important was a “drop in the bucket” in the total budget–I found myself wondering how much of it was sincere and how much was political showboating. It was certainly inconsistent with Stolte’s previous record of willingness to spend money on “nice-to-haves”.