That 7% tax increase explained

By Staff

January 9th, 2023



We’ve taken a slightly different approach and are using graphics to tell the budget story.

We are sharing with you the material that will be presented to council today.

The first is a graph showing what tax increases have been and are expected be going forward.

Were the budget numbers for 2023 discussed or debated during the October election? Do you recall an opportunity to talk about tax increases during August and September?

Assessment growth has not been what it has to be. Prior to 2023 the city was not collecting what it should have been collected from the development community. It will rise in 2024 and be where is should have been by 2025 – will the current council get returned at the end of this term with numbers like this?

The Operations campus is a gotta have. The Skyway Community Centre and the Bateman High School “adaptive re-use” are projects the city is going to take on a lot of debt. we note that the Mayor hasn’t said much lately about buying the LaSalle Park property owned by the city of Hamilton.

The significant increase in debt that started in 2022 is going to be with us for a couple of years. We didn’t have this amount of debt in the Goldring years.

Where the money comes from on the left (taxpayers are the source for most of it). How Capital items are paid for. Development charges and Parkland dedication are no longer as certain as they were in the past. Combined those two are higher than the debt that is going to be taken on.

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7 comments to That 7% tax increase explained

  • Perryb

    We should not forget that the Ford government is working to limit cities’ access to development charges … i.e. to download a significant financial burden when no one is looking. Who pays? Plan ahead, people.

  • Howard

    So for the past 4 years MMW and gang cut into the real numbers and used reserve funds to give you budget increases that were below inflation. This tactic got them all rehired for another term. If you look back at old budget videos you will see CFO Joan Ford supporting higher budgets so that the tax payer would not be left with what we see today. Shame on our politicians for not being fiscally responsible.

    • Philip Waggett

      Better check your numbers Howard. Tax increases by the City during the past 4 years were always ABOVE the rate of inflation.

  • Hilda Cirotto

    Where is the City’s explanation for this huge tax increase? I don’t recall the City giving us any indication that this was coming. Public servants may be less concerned but for everyone else who does not get their income indexed with the cost of living, this can burdensome. Anyone struggling already won’t appreciate this financial blow on top of the dollar’s demise with inflation.

    • Jim Thomson

      The City staff made it clear in the budget framework in July. In fact they were predicting closer to 8%.

      City Council gets away with it because of the apathy of the electorate.

  • Charles Zach

    It is inevitable that any one who can borrow freely to cover errors of management will borrow rather than correct the errors. We have to stop spending money that we don’t have. Council must first demonstrate that it can cut and save before it leaps to a expand and spend budget. It is clear that this Council is irresponsible. Burlington tax payers need to show up and rebuke this unprecedented budget increase. We are already in recession and the public sector must share the pain of economic downturn with taxpayers. I suggest that Council immediately freeze the wages of all Burlington and Halton region employees until our budgets have been balanced and our debt has been brought under control. In the mean time I call upon my Ward 5 councillor Paul Sharman to move a motion to enact a regulation that no municipal budget increase can exceed 2% unless a public referendum is held. I also call upon all the Halton MPP’s to submit a private members bill that would allow for the immediate recall of any politician who is unworthy to govern by a referendum vote of 2/3.

  • Charles zach

    We need recall legislation to fired these irresponsible spend thrift councillors. Did you get a 7% increase in your income this year? Are you on a fixed income? Council must first show that it can cut and save before it jumps to an unprecedented expand and spend budget. We need to stop spending money we don’t have. It is inevitable that any one who can borrow freely to cover errors of management will borrow rather than correct the errors. Here is an idea, freeze the wages of all City employees until the budget is balanced and our creditors are paid in full.