City Council recently unanimously approved Brampton’s 2019 Budget with a zero per cent average tax change, the lowest in nearly 20 years.
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).
The zero per cent average tax change was made possible not by reducing services, but by key factors that were unique to 2018. Organizational efficiencies and extraordinary growth in revenues enabled the City to pass on the benefits to taxpayers. These factors, combined with the Federal government’s commitment to doubling Gas Tax Funding to municipalities, helped reallocate money towards key strategic investments in the 2019-2021 Budget.
Budget Highlights include improving the quality of life by adding 46 conventional buses, 25 Züm buses over three years, and a new $15 monthly Transit pass for seniors. There will be a new fire station built in northwest Brampton and fire apparatus and equipment will be updated throughout for a more reliable response force. Several recreation centres will be revitalized including Chris Gibson, Howden, and Balmoral. Chinguacousy Wellness Centre will be updated and Riverstone Golf Club will be converted into a 34,000 square foot Community Centre. Also, there will be a Public Safety Project focusing on community safety initiatives.
The budget will grow the economy by 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. There will be a focus on working towards establishing a Centre for Innovation and Connected Learning as well as implementing an Environmental Assessment and Urban Design Master Plan for the Riverwalk project.
Other highlights making Brampton a well-run city include 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. The continuation of a two per cent infrastructure levy will help to maintain roads, bridges, community centres and other assets in state of good repair. In addition, introducing a one per cent Transit Levy will 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. 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,” says Mayor Patrick Brown, Chair of Budget Committee
“Community feedback was crucial in shaping the 2019-2021 Budget and we are grateful to our residents and businesses for taking an active interest in helping move Brampton forward. We will also continue to work with higher levels of government to advance the Term of Council Priorities in the priority areas of transit connections, post-secondary education, a resilient infrastructure, all of which are important in attracting businesses to invest in Brampton,” remarked Regional Councillor Paul Vicente, Vice-Chair of Budget Committee.
“I want to thank staff for addressing growth challenges in innovative ways and finding organizational and fiscal efficiencies to deliver this historic Budget. A healthy financial position and sound planning helped pass on some relief to taxpayers. Brampton is building momentum as a major urban player in Canada and beyond, growth pressures will continue and we will make the right investments to keep us growing and improving,” says Joe Pittari, Acting Chief Administrative Officer .
For more information visit www.brampton.ca.
Photo courtesy of City of Brampton