2017 Budget

At the January 23 Burlington City Council meeting, council approved the City of Burlington’s 2017 operating budget.

The tax rate increase for the City of Burlington portion is 4.42% and the overall tax rate increase, which includes the effect of taxes at the region and school boards is 2.56%.

The City portion includes a 2.09% increase to cover increasing commodity and compensation costs and 1.58% increase to help address the $130 million infrastructure gap. The balance of the increase (.81%) was for enhanced services that include: additional resources for tree service, project management resources and improved play field maintenance.

The increased investment ($254,000) in tree service is required to meet current levels of service for inspections, removals, stumping, planting, watering, etc. Our urban trees are a tremendous asset to all of us. They act as an air filter, they absorb carbon dioxide emissions, provide a cooling effect in the summer and add to the aesthetics of the city.

The additional resources ($550,000) for project management will assist the city in becoming more effective in how the many projects including those related to our strategic plan, are implemented. Our City Manager will direct how this funding is used and he will be reporting back to council on a regular basis. Without the investment, project work would be more expensive and not as timely.

Our play field user groups have pointed out to us that the maintenance service that the city provides for play fields is inferior to all our neighbouring municipalities. Staff were recommending that we increase the service in 2018, however council has decided to provide partial funding ($200,000) in 2017 in order to see some improvement this year. Continue reading

2017 Capital Budget

2017-capital-proposed-web-version_page_001The 2017 proposed capital budget was drafted to connect directly with Burlington’s Strategic Plan 2015-40.

Aligning the budget to the strategic plan provides accountability between what is achieved and the cost to you – the taxpayer.

The 2017 proposed capital budget is approximately $56 million, with a 10-year program of $667.8 million. The capital budget has a strong focus on infrastructure renewal projects reflective of the city’s commitment to the asset management plan and the strategic plan. This means we are focused on the city’s infrastructure and ensuring roads and buildings are in good condition and properly maintained.

The City of Burlington’s proposed 2017-2026 capital budget of $667.8 million is allocated into the following eight categories:

  • Roadways $305.7 million
  • Storm Water Management $ 55.8 million
  • Facilities & Buildings $ 112.1 million
  • Parks & Open Space $ 66.6 million
  • Parking $ 19.7 million
  • Fleet Vehicles & Equipment $ 70.4 million
  • Information Technology $ 26.2 million
  • Local Boards $ 11.3 million

Continue reading

2016 Federal Budget

Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring, Oakville North-Burlington MP Pam Damoff and Burlington MP Karina Gould.

Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring, Oakville North-Burlington MP Pam Damoff and Burlington MP Karina Gould.

On Tuesday, the federal Liberal government brought down its budget in the House of Commons. This was the first budget for the Liberal government since winning a majority in October 2015.

This is a good budget for municipalities as it recognizes the role of municipal governments in building and maintaining infrastructure. I am committed to working with Burlington Member of Parliament Karina Gould and Oakville North-Burlington Member of Parliament Pam Damoff on federal investment opportunities in Burlington. Continue reading

Budget 2016 Approved

One of the most important tasks for Burlington City Council is approving the city’s capital and operating budgets.

Budgeting is about planning and meaningful investment. I believe we must provide quality services while maintaining property taxes at a reasonable and affordable rate.

The capital budget was approved by council in December. This week, council approved the 2016 operating budget.

When combined with Halton Region and the boards of education, the overall property tax increase is two per cent or $17.10 for each $100,000 of residential urban assessment. The city’s portion included a 3.14 per cent increase.

Why is there an increase?

The 2016 operating budget focuses on providing services, maintaining our assets and investing in business cases to increase service levels through a competitive property tax increase.

The goal is to achieve a balance between minimizing tax increases while maintaining and increasing service levels where appropriate.

How did we arrive at a 3.14 per cent increase?

The city’s base budget is presented with a 1.28 per cent increase, as compared to the three-year rolling average of the Toronto Consumer Price Index (1.86 per cent).

Due to the prior policy decision to increase (+1.44 per cent) the dedicated infrastructure levy and tax supported debt charges for items like road repair and storm water management, the increase comes to 2.72 per cent.

City business cases (+0.29 per cent) bring the increase to 3.01 per cent. Local boards and committee business cases (+0.13 per cent) result in the city tax impact of 3.14 per cent.

I know a reasonable tax increase is a priority to our residents. While some would prefer a smaller increase, I believe the overall tax increase of two per cent is reasonable with strategic investments in services that are essential to keeping our city up and running, as well as fostering Burlington as one of the best communities in Canada in which to live and work.

Based on prudent advice from city staff, the 2016 operating budget features appropriate investment of your hard-earned dollars.

Connect with me by phone: 905-335-7607, email: mayor@burlington.ca, Twitter: @RickGoldring and Facebook: Rick Goldring.

Inspire Burlington

Seats are available at the free Inspire Burlington event on Thursday, Feb. 11, 7:30 p.m., Royal Botanical Gardens Auditorium, 680 Plains Rd. W.

The keynote speaker is renowned city planner Brent Toderian, who will talk about why cities should grow up through infill rather than out through sprawl. Email mayor@burlington.ca or call 905-335-7607 to reserve your seat.

This column appears in the January 29th edition of the Burlington Post.

 

Budget 2016

One of the most important tasks for Burlington City Council is the city’s annual budget.

Budgeting is about planning and meaningful investment. I believe we must provide quality services while maintaining property taxes at a reasonable and affordable rate.

The 2016 Operating Budget and Capital Budget reports for the City of Burlington were presented to Council and the public on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015.

The Capital Budget was approved by council in December. You can read more about the Capital Budget in my December newsletter here.

2016 Budget Breakdown

The 2016 Operating Budget includes a 3.85% increase in the city’s portion of property taxes. When combined with Halton Region and the boards of education, the overall property tax increase is 2.3% or $20.48 for each $100,000 of residential urban assessment. While we all would prefer to have lower tax rate increases, I believe an overall tax increase of 2.3% is reasonable, with strategic investments in services that play an important role in the high quality of life we enjoy in our city.

The 2016 budget marks the second year the city will be presenting the operating budget in a service based format. Under this approach, business plans are developed for all 37 of the services provided by the city. The plans highlight where investments are being made and will help residents learn more about the services the city offers with the overall goal to ensure citizens are getting good value for their tax dollar.

Your Tax Dollar 2016

Why is there an increase in property taxes for 2016?

The 2016 proposed budget responds to providing services, maintaining our assets and business cases to increase service levels through a competitive property tax increase, striking a balance between minimizing tax increases while maintaining and increasing service levels in a climate of increasing costs.

  • The city’s base budget is presented with a 1.97% increase, as compared to the three year rolling average of the Toronto Consumer Price Index (1.86%)
  • Including prior policy decision to increase the dedicated infrastructure levy and tax supported debt charges, the increase is 3.41% (+1.44%)
  • City business cases bring the increase to 3.72% (+0.31%)
  • Local Boards and Committee business cases (+0.13%) result in a city tax impact of 3.85%

Summary of City Services

2016 Budget Public Information Night

I invite residents to attend next week’s public information night to learn more about the 2016 operating budget. The information night will be held Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Tansley Woods Community Centre, 1996 Itabashi Way. City staff will be on hand to present the operating budget and to answer any questions you may have.

2016 Budget Timelines

Jan. 14, 2016 Public Budget Information Meeting (Tansley Woods Community Centre, 7 p.m.)
Jan. 19, 2016 Delegations and review of 2016 Proposed Operating Budget at C&CS Committee (1 p.m.; reconvene at 6:30 p.m. if required)
Jan. 21, 2016 Operating Budget review and approval at C&CS Budget Committee (3 p.m.; reconvene at 6:30 p.m. if required)
Jan. 25, 2016 Council approval of the 2016 Operating Budget (6:30 p.m.)

Budget Books

To access the 2016 Operating Budget and 2016 Capital Budget books, visit https://www.burlington.ca/en/your-city/Budget-2016.asp.

Frequently Asked Questions

Visit the city’s Frequently Asked Questions page on the budget to find answers to some of the most common inquiries we receive about the budget: https://www.burlington.ca/en/your-city/Budget-Frequently-Asked-Questions.asp.