The average ratepayer will see an $88 increase on the regional portion of their tax bill this year, but with that comes more police officers and paramedics, increased trips on assisted transportation and a couple of more ambulances.
Peel Region’s $3.1 billion 2018 budget is largely geared towards maintain existing services, but with a nod to growth and accommodating an aging population. Most of the funds go towards wages. Crunched further, the numbers show a net regional tax increase of 2.6 per cent when you combine costs associated with the property tax and the utility rate. More than 4,000 additional households are expected in the region this year which means a large portion of the budget must accommodate that growth in areas of waste collection, affordable and numerous health services.
One of the most visible aspects of the new budget is the increase in the number of frontline members of the Peel Regional Police. The department will add 37 officers plus additional call dispatcher staff and prison escort officers.
The budget also takes into account the anticipated growth of 39,000 more trips for services such as Transhelp, ones that help those with limited mobility travel throughout Peel.
An expected increase of calls by 6,000 means Peel Region will add two more ambulances and hire 19 additional paramedics to meet emergency demands.
Peel Region’s budget impacts a third of the total tax bill. A portion for the school board and one of Mississauga, Brampton or Caledon (depending on where you live) must be added in to determine the final amount.