MIRANET’s Chris Mackie has written up this summary of the City of Mississauga’s 2019 budget.
The 2019 budgets approved by the City and Region will raise residential property taxes by 2.9 percent. The increase will go into effect July 1, 2019, plus the annual increase in MPAC property assessments. Expect a significant increase.
Our actual tax increase will vary according to the difference in the percentage increase in the property assessment and the average increase for residential properties across the City.
Mississauga’s tax supported budget is based upon increases to the previous year’s budget. Expenditures approved one year are carried forward to subsequent years Exceptions? Only if they’re specifically deleted.
MIRANET presented an overview of the operating and capital budgets to Budget Committee in January 2019. We supported increases in the MiWay budget ($87.4 million) directed at improving service.
MIRANET is critical of the staffing requirements of the Fire and Emergency Services department. In addition to 20 firefighters to be hired in 2019, an additional 13 staff are added to conduct fire safety inspections and education programs. A total of 34 inspectors will be hired during the next four years.
A new fire station is scheduled to open in September and another five stations over the next ten years. The increase is an attempt to reduce the average response time from 5:50 minutes to 4:00 minutes.
At $114.0 million the Fire and Emergency Services budget is the largest component of the City’s $874.2 million operating budget.
A $1.0 million grant to UTM was removed by Budget Committee.
The increase in the tax-supported budget of $25.4 million adds 1.56% to the property tax. The increase in the Region of Peel budget adds 1.34 %. The total increase of 2.9 % is slightly higher than the forecast increase in the consumer price index for 2019.
The City’s ten-year capital budget of $2.8 billion has increased by $420 million during the past 12 months.
Property taxes are a regressive form of taxation. Taxes that increase faster than the rate of inflation are toxic to those living on fixed or low incomes. Combined with escalating MPAC assessments, property taxes will continue to absorb an increasing portion of many household incomes.
Thank you for your participation in the entire budget process. That is a huge job. I also appreciation your positions taken. I am intrigued to know what kind of push back you have or will receive for brazenly calling for fiscal restraint or cost containment in the hallowed halls of our beloved Fire Services. I cannot imagine you got much encouragement.