Public opinion not yet clear on what the tax increase should be for 2024

By Pepper Parr

November 19th, 2023



Getting a fix on just where public opinion is on the budget that Council is currently debating.

Members of Council refer to different surveys they say supports what Council is doing.

At the same time a Petition is out there that has drawn more than 2750 signatures. If you want to add yours to the petition click HERE

They are differences in just what it is this Council is debating.  The Mayor refers to a 4.99% “impact” – the word impact doesn’t get defined.

Eric Stern has delegated and written an opinion piece on what be believes the t2024 tax increase will amount to.

Eric Stern got this chart from the Finance which he maintains makes it clear what the tax rate is going to be.

Members of Council have prepared Motions they will debate later this week; Councillor Stolte wants to see $4.5 million set aside to buy land on which future housing will be built.

Councillor Sharman, who probably has the best understanding of the budget, and his view may not be what the City Finance department would like to see, is the man behind where this budget is going to land.

Councillor Sharman has said that he believes this council is doing the right thing and that “we will learn is we were right in the 2026 municipal election.

There is one graphic that is probably closer to the truth that much of the stuff is out there. It is shown at the bottom of this article.  Public acceptance dropped from the 70ès in 20121 down to the 50’s in 2022.

With no single source offering reliable data, and Council members pushing their own agendas it is close to impossible for people to gain a full understanding on what really is taking place.

This is a terrible state to be in – it isn’t likely to change – especially when there is an administration that serves as a chock on the flow of information.

The important thing to note is what the public liked in 2022 and what they liked in 2021 – the numbers are not going in the right direction.


Related news and opinion piece:

Stern opinion

Link to Stolte ask for $4.5 million

Councillors set out what they would like to see changed in the Mayor’s version of the budget

The impact of Strong Mayor powers

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4 comments to Public opinion not yet clear on what the tax increase should be for 2024

  • Blair Smith

    To the contrary, I believe that those of the public that are aware of the proposed increase and are quite clear in their opinion – that it should not exceed 3% at most.

    I appreciate that the point of the article is that there are survey and there are surveys and, depending on your position, you pick the one that best supports your view. But, the one vehicle that speaks very clearly is the online petition against the Mayor’s proposed budget and that currently stands at 2856 signatures.

  • Wendy Fletcher

    In 2021 this Mayor and Council had not implemented their 5 yr plan that will see taxpayers hit with a 32% tax hike from 2023-2028 which will cause a real increase in our tax bills of about 50-60%. Ouch!! They hadn’t been subjected to 7.52% in 2023 or facing up to 7.82% in 2024. I’d therefore not only agree that the numbers are going in the wrong direction, but I’d really love to see unbiased data about where they are now. We know that anything coming out of city hall is not going to be unbiased.

    Taxpayers fortunately won’t feel the full brunt of that 32% as we won’ be re-electing most of these councillors. Assuming someone steps up as Mayor. We can round up people to run as councillors but we need someone smart, articulate, and willing to make the tough choices that the public will accept as Mayor. I am very much hoping that that person in lurking in the gazette readership somewhere.

    Sharman is absolutely delusional that he thinks he or anyone who continues to support this budget are getting re-elected. I really can’t decide if it’s his arrogance or he’s just that stupid. In either case, he’s a heartless individual (I get enough of his letters forwarded to me to be able to make that statement). I will take great pleasure in documenting every single time he’s lied outright to taxpayers. Feds can still get away with that. Not on a municipal level and I can’t wait to at least try to take him out.

  • Wendy Fletcher

    I’d argue that 2808 is alot of voices considering how few people in Burlington are even aware of the looming tax increase. Can you imagine if I could expose 20,000 households? If I’d had time, I would have paid for and had that many flyers delivered. If I’d thought of it, I’d have sought some fund raising to help me get it done. If I can still get those signatures, even after the budget is signed, I think it will have weight, but maybe I’m just dreaming.

    Sharman sounds like he knows he’s not getting re-elected and so is going to push thru as much of his ego as he can. Because that’s really what it amounts to at this point. The only councillors who are working for the taxpayer right now are Kelvin and Angelo. Rory doesn’t get that distinction when he sits on Sharman’s fence saying, let’s keep it at 4.99%.

  • Tom Muir

    As part of this 57% willing to increase taxes, it is also obvious, but statistically significant, that most respondents – 38% -, or the “mode”, that appear most frequently, voted to increase taxes only to maintain services.

    That fact should be considered, as it shows only one mode and when it’s unique, the mode is the value that appears the most often in a data set and it can be used as a measure of central tendency.

    On the tax increase percent amount. The 10.21 % increase pertains to the City portion only increase of the total tax bill we receive. How much increase is the Burlington only tax share increase?. It’s 10.21%.

    The 4.99% pertains to the share of the total tax bill, including the Halton Region share, and the Education. These other two shares added to the Burlington share equal up to your total tax bill which percent increase is 4.99%.

    Sorry to keep repeating but that is how the tax increases have always been confounded by the City politicians not wanting to tell people what the City taxes by themselves are increasing in percentage terms.

    I think 10.21% is a lot, and far above inflation. The 4.99 % is obviously less and that is why it is attractive for the politicians to use it. How much is the dollar amount of the City share added to the Tax Bill.

    The way this is put keeps people in a state of perplexity about what to believe and what is true. You all know what purpose this serves.

    Obviously, the total tax bill is more than just the City portion alone, but the City is now half and rising. Look at the Tables. Burlington 2024 share of the Total is 50.61%.; Halton 32.61, Education 16.70.

    The City share of the Total tax bill percent increase is 4.99%, called an “impact” by the Mayor. The City alone tax increase percent is 10.21% (not the Total). See the confusion and perplexity in all this terminology and what we are told about what people think, want, why, and support.

    The Gazette story gives you the information you can use to figure it out.

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