Whenever the budget comes out, one of the first things that residents will look at is how much more money they will have to pay in taxes this year. They got their answer of $72 dollars more in property taxes than last year, an increase of 2.9 percent or a $14.5 million dollar increase
This was one of the many figures that were discussed on Monday night at the strategic priorities and policy committee meeting or the first budget meeting of 2015. The increase in the tax is set to go up from just under $2,493 dollars to $2,565 dollars this year.
The focus of the $72 dollars is going towards the increased cost of municipal services in London. Director of financial planning and policy Larry Palarchio says that with the money they are “trying to utilize more pay as you go financing or capital levy to finance life cycle renewal capital projects”. They have 2.2 million dollars going towards that as well as “increased contributions to our technology services reserve fund as well as our facilities and solid waste management area.
Other areas that the increased property tax is going towards is Protective Services, Roadways, the LTC, London and Middlesex Housing Corporation, Land Ambulance, London Public Library, Conservation Authorities , Remaining Service areas, Net Ontario Works and Corp. Contingencies.
During the election campaign, Mayor Matt Brown promised to keep tax hikes at or below inflation levels. Currently that level is at 2.4 percent. This is only the beginning when it comes to budget talks so the number for the property tax could decrease a little bit before the approval date which is set for February 26th.