Burlington’s City Council has approved the budget for 2020, which will be increased by 3.99 per cent.
This additional 3.99 per cent will go toward several different areas of need for the city.
One third, 1.33 per cent, of this increase will go towards maintaining city services.
Additionally, 1.25 per cent will go towards City infrastructure projects including the revitalization of the Skyway Community Recreation Complex, resurfacing of New Street, between Walkers Line and Burloak Drive, the repair and renewal of assets at numerous community centres and pool facilities, and minor reconstruction of Canterbury Drive.
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Addressing climate change will receive 0.82 per cent of the budget increase, with funds going towards four new conventional buses and eight additional drivers, plus a new specialized transit vehicle (Handi-Van) and driver, free transit for children age 12 and under, new electric vehicle charging stations at City facilities such as arenas and community centres, a new private tree bylaw program, updates to the Urban Forestry Management Plan and a new tree planting initiative, and completing a Climate Change Adaptation Plan, support for the Bay Area Climate Change Partnership, and resources to implement the Climate Action Plan.
The final 0.59 per cent of the budget increase will go towards implementing Burlington’s four-year work program–Vision to Focus.
These funds will be used to enhanced parks and winter maintenance operations, including sidewalk snow removal, and four years of the Home Fire Safety program; improvements to cybersecurity resilience; temporary staffing to operate the newly expanded Joseph Brant Museum; and programming at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre that celebrates all cultures.
In order to pay for the increase, Burlington’s property taxes will increase 2.44 per cent–or $19.34 per $100,000 of a home’s current assessed value.
This means the owner of a home assessed at $500,000–roughly the average for a house in Burlington–will pay an additional $96.70 in taxes.
“Council and our community should be proud of this budget that focuses on transit, trees, and green infrastructure, among other needs. We had to whittle down requests from Council that would have put us at a 7.5 per cent city-tax increase if they had all been approved,” Mayor Marianne Meed Ward said in a news release.
“We aimed for enhancing services, renewing aging infrastructure and responding to the needs of a growing community, while keeping your pocketbooks in mind. We made some tough, but strategic decisions for the 2020 budget, and the priorities reflect those of our community,” she continued.