That’s where some of Burlington’s tax dollars are going to be spent after city council passed the $160.1 million operating budget.
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Council approved the 2018 operating budget with a 4.36 per cent increase in the city’s portion of property taxes on Jan. 29.
When combined with tax increases from Halton Region and the boards of education, the overall tax increase is 2.55 per cent or $20.27 per $100,000 of a home’s current value assessment.
“The 2018 budget continues to provide funding to priority areas of infrastructure renewal, maintaining existing services and improvements to transit operations,” said director of finance Joan Ford.
“The budget balances the maintenance of existing services with long-term planning needs to provide a budget that is fiscally responsible and financially sustainable. ”
The 2018 operating budget focuses on four areas:
Investing in infrastructure and maintenance
In accordance with the city’s Asset Management Plan, the dedicated infrastructure levy has been increased by 1.25 per cent or $1.9 million. Of the $160.1 million collected through the tax levy, $34.72 million will fund the capital program and renewing Burlington’s aging infrastructure.
Transit and transportation
Strategic investments to improve the city’s transit service, including $1.55 million for changes in transit to provide operational sustainability and to improve reliability of the service.
Five city bus drivers will be hired at a cost of $372,424.
In addition, bus service will be added – for the first time – on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day (Dec. 25 and Jan. 1, respectively).
Community investment and growth to provide an additional investment of $320,000 to enhance the maintenance of sportsfields.
Burlington’s operating budget is committed to ensuring the city has competitive property taxes. Since 2011, overall tax increases in Burlington have averaged 1.9 per cent. In a comparison of property taxes in municipalities in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, Burlington’s property taxes are the third-lowest for a residential single-family detached home.
The 2018 budget is “focused on community investments that deliver on the city’s 25-year Strategic Plan while ensuring the programs and services residents depend on are well-maintained and cost-effective,” said Mayor Rick Goldring.
“Investments, including much-needed funding to improve transit, are designed to meet the needs of our growing community.”
A FEW QUICK THINGS
The 2018 operating budget delivers a base budget increase of 0.46 per cent. Other impacts to the operating budget in 2018 include:
- $1 million, or an additional tax increase of 0.65 per cent for legislative changes to the Employment Standards and Labour Relations Acts (Bill 148).
- $1.55 million, or an additional tax increase of 1.01 per cent for changes made in transit to provide operational sustainability and increased reliability of service.
- $1.2 million, or an additional tax increase of 0.78 per cent for impacts from the 2014 arbitrated Fire Department settlement
- $320,000, or an additional tax increase of 0.21 per cent to increase maintenance standards on city sportsfields.
- City of Burlington property taxes for a home assessed at $500,000 are $1,783.45. When combined with the proposed Halton Region increase and no change for education, overall property taxes for a home assessed at $500,000 are $4,074.45.
Graphics courtesy of the City of Burlington