Property tax hike approved for Brampton

Brampton city council has approved the 2017 budget plan, along with a new property tax hike of 2.3 per cent.

The property tax hike will be divided with the region, city, and school boards, though the city takes the lion’s share of new money.

The increase will mean an approximate increase of $100 on a house with a $400,000 assessment.

The city’s budget will be increasing by 3.3 per cent. Details of the 2017 budget program are summarized here. This number doesn’t directly correlate to the property tax increase, as the city generates income from other sources, such as federal and provincial programs and subsidies, and development charges.

For example, almost 42 per cent of the 2017 capital program is being funded by federal and provincial transit grants.

Council also eliminated several budget items. The controversial city hall “fitness centre,” that would have converted an empty storage room for $200,000, was deferred back to staff. The issues with television screens and public art was also deferred.

Councilor Gael Miles moved the motion for deferral, while Councillor Gurpreet Dhillon moved a motion to delete the ‘fittness centre’ proposal. This was surprising as he voted to keep the “fitness centre” proposal during last week’s budget deliberations.

Councilor Doug Whillans proposed a motion to reduce council members’ discretionary office budgets from $45,000 to $25,000, for the remainder of the council term, saving $200,000.

While it passed 8-3 in favour, Mayor Linda Jeffrey and Councillor Gurpreet Dhillon were surprised to see this motion, as it had never been brought up in previous budget discussion.

Councillor Michael Palleschi fired back as he noted that Jeffrey and Dhillon propose so-called “walk-on motions all the time.”

The rest of meeting sailed smoothly, with the rest of the budget being approved.

Update: An earlier version of this article stated that Councillor Gurpreet Dhillon moved a motion to defer the fitness centre, which was incorrect.