Regional Council sets out what it would like to achieve with its 2022-23 budget - limit tax increase to 3%

By Pepper Parr

July 27th, 2022



Yesterday, or maybe it was the day before Regional Chair Gary Carr officially announced he was running for re-election.

Today, the Region published a notice that on July 13th Council approved a direction to maintain low tax increases in 2023.

Is there a connection between the two – there certainly is – the one thing Gary Carr has done is keep taxes down – he has kept taxes so low that the Region has a better credit rating that the government of the United States.

Waste water treatment plant in Burlington’s Beachway

The Report lays the foundation for keeping taxes at or below the rate of inflation in 2023 while investing in critical programs and services that meet the needs of our community. The Report maintains the priority to ensure the property tax rate increase is targeted not to exceed 3 per cent and the water and wastewater rate increase is targeted not to exceed 4.1 per cent.

“Halton Region has maintained a strong financial position throughout the challenges of COVID-19 and through the pandemic recovery,” said Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr. “This ultimately positions the Region to minimize the financial impacts on residents and businesses while delivering high-quality programs and services that support the health and well-being of all members of the Halton community.”

If that sounds like a re-election platform – it is.

Most of the Regional Councillors are running for re-election

Halton Hills Mayor Rick Bonnette – retiring.

Halton Hills Mayor Rick Bonnette has already announced that he was retiring.

Is Gord Krantz, currently the longest serving Mayor in the province and probably in the country as well facing the possibility of defeat in October?

Milton Mayor Gord Krantz is said to be facing a contender. Male and a current Council member is all we have at this point.

The key priorities for the 2023 budget include:

Public Health – an ongoing focus on the COVID-19 response, continuing vaccination needs and requirements and supporting the Public Health’s pandemic recovery. This includes the revitalization of Public Health services that have been suspended during the pandemic, such as catch-up of grade seven immunizations. Budgetary impacts include uncertainties in additional funding from the Province to offset costs.

Waste Management – investments in key initiatives that will extend the lifespan of the Halton Waste Management Site, increase waste diversion and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Also includes ongoing planning for the transition of the Blue Box program to full producer responsibility in 2025 and monitoring the impacts of COVID-19 on the amount of solid waste material being generated.

Road Operations – investment in expanding the road maintenance program to ensure the state-of-good-repair of our roads and to support the expansion of the Region’s transportation infrastructure to accommodate growth.
Housing Services – investment for the Halton Rental Assistance Program (HRAP) due to an unprecedented increase in households in the shelter system related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Services for Seniors – making investments that support more direct hours of care for residents in long-term care. Also responding to increasing costs associated with additional staffing as a result of funding limitations.

Employment & Social Services – supporting the provincial government’s transformation of employment support services, including a new service delivery model to meet the needs of the local economy.

Paramedic Services – maintaining existing service levels while addressing increased costs associated with inflation, increased call volumes, response times and population and other growth pressures.

Children’s Services – investments to increase quality, accessibility, affordability and inclusivity in early learning and child care based on the Federal and Provincial Government’s Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care (CWELCC) Agreement.

Digital Strategy – continuing to invest in expanding the delivery of digital services to the community. This includes investments in digital technology to support decision-making and delivery of the most requested customer-facing services digitally.

Throughout the budget planning process, there will be a continued focus on finding cost efficiencies across all areas to achieve these targets. The 2023 Budget and Business Plan is scheduled to be reviewed by Regional Council on January 18, 2023 and consideration of approval is scheduled on January 25, 2023.

Interesting to note that there is no mention of what it is costing to run the Office of the Medical Officer of Health – Covid19 responses have blown the budget they have wide open.  There isn’t much in the way of efficiencies at that level

By that time the re-elected will have been sworn in and their immediate worries will be over.

Is there a new Mayor for the Town of Milton in this picture?


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2 comments to Regional Council sets out what it would like to achieve with its 2022-23 budget – limit tax increase to 3%

  • Ted Gamble

    Our Burlington Council should mirror the 3%

  • Philip Waggett

    Gary Carr is to be commended for his focus on fiscal responsibility and accountability to taxpayers while at the same time maintaining a high level of service in Halton. Do any readers believe that his Liberal opponent, Andrea Grebenc, will show any such concern for taxpayers?