CFBB Response to passage of 3.3% Budget increase
CFBB is pleased to see that Council specifically listened to public comments and concerns expressed during the budget process. Quashing or deferring expenditures focused on employee betterments such as a dedicated exercise and fitness centre , large common area TV screens, Councillor office budgets and phasing in office renovations was an appropriate response to the public message that optics relating to accountability and responsibility matter.
The special levy of 2% included in the 2017 budget begins to address past deferrals of much needed infrastructure up-grades in the City, a situation bedeviling many communities across the province facing the same infrastructural needs.
It is our hope that Council will be addressing the need for property tax reform in order to address the thousands of investment properties that do not contribute their fair share for infrastructure and city services. Any future tax levies that will be required for provincial responsibilities should also be carefully considered moving forward.
It will not be easy, perhaps even possible to keep taxes at or below the rate of inflation, given that the community is growing so quickly and we have this huge infrastructural backlog to take care of.
When the Region of Peel and the School Board requirements are combined with the local tax levy, the overall impact on the taxpayer results in a property tax increase of 2.3%.
Altogether, CFBB feels that this is a responsible budget for the City of Brampton in 2017. However we feel that more work will need to be done next year.
We thank both staff and Council for their dedication and considerable efforts on behalf of the taxpayer.