If you feel squeezed by property taxes in Brampton, you will be very happy to hear that a fairly unique budget will deliver a zero per cent property tax increase–the lowest in nearly 20 years.
Council passed the budget on March 27.
The approved budget will result in an overall average property tax increase of 1.1 per cent in 2019. This includes average tax changes by the city (zero per cent), Region of Peel (1.1 per cent increase) and school boards (zero per cent).
Other highlights of Brampton’s 2019-2021 budget include a 16 per cent increase in the city’s bus fleet, the revitilzation of several recreation centres including Chris Gibson and Chinguacousy Wellness Centre, and a Community Improvement Program to incentivize key economic sectors.
- Thunderstorms in the forecast for Brampton
- Is Brampton’s hospital prepared to handle the uptick in COVID-19 cases amid the City’s health care crisis?
- Last chance to check out Brampton’s Farmers’ Market
The property tax freeze from the city–which is something Mayor Patrick Brown advocated for–was reportedly made possible not by reducing services, “but by key factors that were unique to 2018.”
The city says organizational efficiencies and “extraordinary growth in revenues” enabled the municipality to keep city taxes at the level residents have grown accustomed to.
These factors, combined with the Trudeau’s government’s commitment to doubling Gas Tax Funding to municipalities, helped reallocate money towards key strategic investments in the 2019-2021 budget.
Here’s what the budget includes:
Adding 46 conventional buses and 25 Züm buses over three years
A new $15 monthly transit pass for seniors
Constructing a new fire station in northwest Brampton; updating fire apparatus and equipment for a more reliable response force
Revitalizing Chris Gibson, Howden, and Balmoral Recreation Centres; upgrading Chinguacousy Wellness Centre; converting Riverstone Golf Club into a 34,000 square foot Community Centre
Initiating a Public Safety Project towards community safety program initiatives
There are also a number of economic initiatives in the budget:
Creating a new Marketing and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Program and a Community Improvement Program to incentivize the economic sectors identified in Brampton’s Economic Development Master Plan
Working towards establishing a Centre for Innovation and Connected Learning
Implementing an Environmental Assessment and Urban Design Master Plan for the Riverwalk project
There are also some other city-building initiatives:
The Hospital Levy that was on previous tax bills is now complete and amounts collected will be made available for phase 2 of Peel Memorial Centre
Continuing a two per cent infrastructure levy to maintain roads, bridges, community centres and other assets in state of good repair.
Introducing a one per cent transit levy to provide a dedicated, stable source of funding for future transit growth needs
Relevant levies have been built into the budget to deliver a zero per cent average increase on the city’s portion of the tax bill
“This Council is proud to present its first Budget with no increase in taxes on the City portion without compromising on delivering high-quality programs and services,” said Brown in a statement.
“We are making major investments in Transit and creating opportunities for economic growth. As Brampton builds out further in line with the 2040 Vision, continued investments will be required in future years to meet the growing needs of our fast-growing population.”