Jan 10, 2024
By Bob Komsic
In order not to cut city services, staff are proposing the largest property tax hike since amalgamation in 1998.
As city hall looks to fill the nearly $1.8-billion shortfall, staff recommend an increase of 9% for the average homeowner, along with an additional 1.5% hike to the city’s building levy.
If the numbers remain during upcoming public consultations and telephone townhalls with Mayor Olivia Chow, they would translate to an extra $413 to $420 this year depending on the size of the household’s waste bin.
The city’s found over $600 million in savings and its new deal with the province includes $400-million in funding.
Still outstanding is the $250-million from Ottawa to support asylum seekers and refugees in the city’s shelter system.
The budget chief and mayor are both ”optimistic” the government will come through by January 26, but if it doesn’t then the city will impose an additional 6% Federal Impacts Levy.
That would make for a worst case scenario, 16.5% property tax increase or around another $200 this year for an average home.
The mayor points out it’s not the final budget and encourages residents to give feedback to her and the budget committee the next two weeks.
City council will consider the mayor’s budget at a special meeting on Valentine’s Day.