Brampton residents may need to brace themselves as the city and Region of Peel proposes increasing property taxes by 2.5 per cent in 2017
The city’s portion of the property tax hike is 1.5 per cent, to be split between building new infrastructure, and operating costs.
On average, Brampton’s property taxes are on the lower end in the GTA, with the exception of Toronto.
The biggest demands on the city’s operating budget is the staffing of the new Springdale Library, opening next March, demands for better transit and firefighting services, and maintenance costs of new road construction and widening.
Between the gas tax and the new Public Transit Infrastructure Fund, 42 per cent of the capital infrastructure budget of the next year is dedicated towards Brampton Transit. Most of the capital costs will go towards the purchase of new buses, though the Downtown Transit Terminal is expected to be renovated next year.
This should help towards the latter end of 2017, when the Spadina Subway extension to York University and Vaughan opens in December. The transit agency expects that demands on the bus services to York and Vaughan will increase, and will be proposing a massive expansion to Zum service next year.
Over 100 new transit staff over the next three years will be hired to manage this expansion. The city is also expecting for the Airport Road Zum corridor to be in place by 2018.
The other big capital expansion over the next few years is road expansion, mostly in the north end of the city, though there will be a few other projects elsewhere.
- Environmental Assessments
- Heritage Road widening (Steeles to new road north) – 2017
- Orenda Road widening (Dixie to Bramalea) – 2017
- Project Design
- Williams Parkway widening (McLaughlin to North Park, Torbram Road to Spar Drive, noisewalls) – 2017
- Goreway Drive widening (Humberwest Parkway to Mayfield) – 2017
- Castlemore Road widening (Airport Road to Goreway, McVean to The Gore Road) – 2017
- Downtown Redesign (Centred on Queen and Main) – 2017
- Project Engineering
- Remembrance Road expansion (Creditview to McLaughlin) – 2018
- Road widening construction
- Bramalea Road widening (Countryside to Mayfield) – 2017
- Humberwest Parkway widening (Exchange Drive to Williams Parkway) – 2017
- Creditview Road grade separation at CN railway (west of Mount Pleasant GO) – 2017
- McLaughlin Road widening (Wanless to Mayfield) – 2018
- Williams Parkway widening (McLaughlin to North Park, Airport Road to Spar Drive) – 2018
- Chinguacousy Road widening (Wanless to Mayfield) – 2019
Almost every recreation and community centre, except the very newest, is budgeted to have a renovation in the next three years. The Bramalea Civic Centre and the Lester B. Pearson Theatre are expected to eat up a large portion of the refurbishment budget in the next year. There are no new recreation centres expected to be built soon, with the exception of the opening of the final phase of Gore Meadows.
The Brampton Public Library will be opening Springdale Library in March, and there is a possibility of a new central library with the partnership of a new university. The library also wants to build a new library to service the west end of the city (Mount Pleasant is new, but is too small to service more than a local neighbourhood block), but will likely lease a space in a new commercial plaza for a few years.
While the city’s summary says that construction is going strong, the actual indicators present a different story. Residential construction value is down almost $800 million this year compared to last year. Industrial construction value is also down $32 million. However, commercial development value is up by $8 million.
City housing value has on average increased to $579,205, compared to $487,998 last year. Factoring into that, the city has only issued 2,825 new housing permits this year, compared to 4,842 last year.
Residents can have their say at a community budget forum at City Hall from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on November 22, 2016.
City council will be hosting formal Budget Committee meetings from November 28 to December 1, 2016.
Residents can delegate to council on November 28 at 7:00 p.m. by filling out this form and sending it to the clerk.
The budget will be approved on December 14, 2016.