There’s very little these days that can be considered free, and city services are no exception.
Brampton is looking to increase user fees for 2019 in a number of areas, according to a recommendation from a staff report during the December 5 council meeting.
“The City is committed to providing numerous programs and services to residents, which are both affordable and deliver value for money. User fees help recover costs while reducing the burden on the property tax rate, and the delicate balance of cost recovery, affordability, and property tax reduction are the central goals when pricing programs and Services,” the report said.
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Here’s a breakdown of some of those user fee increases proposed by the city:
“The majority of programs and services within the Recreation division are proposed to receive a 5 per cent increase in user fees to help offset some of the input costs that directly affect the price of programs (e.g. minimum wage increases, labour rates and utility costs).”
Some of those specific changes include:
55+ Specific courses such as special events with a meal will see an increase of 10 per cent in order to recover increased food vendor costs to run these events.
The fee for PA Day camps has decreased 5.9 per cent in order to ensure that parents have affordable and accessible child care options for their children.
Swimming lessons for the beginner levels will see an increase of $0.98 per class as we realign our price points to benchmarking and market conditions, Adult, Teen, Family and 55+ will see a 7 per cent increase to ensure the appropriate price differential between age segments.
Drop-In fee for the petting zoo will increase from $1.00 to $2.00 to assist in recovering costs for care of the animals.
“As the Animal Services Division strives to maintain an appropriate balance between user fees and property tax reliance, there are some areas, based on demand and market benchmarks, that are proposed for a fee increase in excess of 2.5 per cent.”
Examples, according to the report, include:
Boarding/Quarantine – Dogs per Day will see an increase of 25 per cent.
Boarding/Quarantine – Cats per Day will see an increase of 25 per cent.
Service Private Trap will see an increase of 150 per cent.
“Rental user fees are proposed to increase for selected rentals and services by 2.4 per cent to 5.0 per cent with the following exceptions:”
Security services hourly rate (For eg. Tier 3) will increase by 36 per cent.
New fees added for services provided by a security/operations coordinator.
Fire and Emergency Services
“City staff is proposing increases of 2 per cent for select user fees in line with the corporate-wide inflation rate to keep pace with the increasing cost of providing programs and services.”
“Motor Vehicle Collision User Fee rates will continue to be adjusted based on the most recent remuneration rate approved by the Ministry of Transportation. No new user fees are being proposed this year as it relates to Fire and Emergency Services.”
Mayor Patrick Brown questioned the need for increasing fees on programs such as soccer and gymnastics as recreation rates as they are already five times more expensive. “If we’re trying to promote an active and healthy lifestyle in Brampton, it seems counterintuitive to be charging additional costs to do those activities,” the mayor said during the meeting.
What do you think of these pending user fee increases in Brampton?