On December 3rd the Town of Caledon Council approved the 2014 Budget.
For many residents, being too busy to follow the process, the perception may exist that once a year a group of politicians sit around a table and arbitrarily come up with a percentage by which property taxes will go up the following year.
In my first term as a Regional Councillor I have learned that nothing could be further from the truth. The Budget that was approved on the evening of December 3rd was the culmination of about 7 weeks of work that commenced on Oct 15th with Council’s first Budget Workshop. Well before that date Town staff were already investing time into the Budget process.
So here are some quick answers to Budget questions that may be on your mind:
I heard my property taxes are going up 4.98% next year, is that true?
The tax bill you receive from the Town of Caledon collects your Region of Peel, Town of Caledon, and School Board taxes, all combined. Of that total approximately 35% is Town, 33% is Region and 32% is School boards.The Town then remits the Region’s and School Boards’ portions on your behalf.
The approved increase on the Town of Caledon’s portion is 4.98%. The Region of Peel Budget will not be finalized until mid-December, and it is projected that the increase will be around 1.6%. The School Boards have been at zero increase for several years and this year, although it could be the last, appears to be the same. So what is your “blended” property tax increase likely to be? In my opinion, somewhere between 2.20% and 2.60%.
Why is the Town of Caledon’s increase usually higher than the Region of Peel?
Currently the Region of Peel has funds “uploaded” to it from the Province of Ontario. The effect of this is that it creates “room” for the Region’s service levels to be increased without corresponding impacts on the taxpayer, resulting in smaller tax increases on the Region’s portion of your tax bill.
If we assume a blended increase of 2.5% what does that add to my property taxes?
If the blended increase is 2.5% the impact on an average home in Caledon, assessed at $480,000, is $9.15 per month or $109.82 per year.
What are some of the reasons property taxes go up?
The first reality is that just to maintain services at the level they were at during the preceding year means increased costs. Add to that the fact that Caledon is growing. Our population has increased to approximately 64,000. When you add residential population you have to add services. Demands grow on our libraries, recreational facilities, fire and emergency services, OPP, roads and sidewalk maintenance, winter services, parks, trails and more. Worth noting, industrial/commercial growth requires less services and therefore has a higher net gain for the tax base, while reducing the tax load that has to be carried by residents – a double win. Lastly, while we are busy growing and adding new services and infrastructure, our existing infrastructure (roads, sidewalks, bridges, culverts, facility buildings, etc) are continuing to age and deteriorate.
How do my Municipal taxes compare to other taxes I pay?
According to the Fraser Institute 2012 Canadian Tax Simulator the average Canadian family’s tax breakdown is 11% Municipal, 34% Provincial, and 55% Federal.
Can I see all the details for Caledon’s Budget?
Definitely! A finalized and detailed Budget document for the fiscal year 2014 will be published shortly and will I will post a link at that time.