Region warns of potential billion-dollar tax increase for Burlington, Milton, Oakville


Published December 21, 2023 at 2:46 pm

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Halton Region says taxes may jump sharply in Burlington, Oakville, Milton and Halton Hills unless the province provides infrastructure funding.

According to a report from Jane MacCaskill, Chief Administrative Officer, and Cyndy Winslow Commissioner, Finance and Regional Treasurer, the Region is facing a potential billion-dollar shortfall in funding if they are to meet various home building laws enacted by the province.

The report says Bill 23 (More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022) and Bill 134 (Affordable Homes and Good Jobs Act, 2023) both, “significantly impact Halton’s ability to fully recover the cost of growth-related infrastructure and services through DCs at a time when a significant increase and acceleration of infrastructure investment is required to enable growth.”

The Region says they agree with the intent of the bills, but the potential funding they provide is inadequate to build the infrastructure needed to service the proposed growth.

“At the same time as municipalities’ ability to collect development charges is being reduced, municipalities are being tasked with accelerating the delivery of infrastructure. Significantly accelerating large-scale water, wastewater, and transportation infrastructure increases the financial strain on municipalities in the immediate and short term.”

Halton’s current infrastructure plan was based on growth projections of 54,000 new residential housing units by 2031. The Municipal Housing Pledge Targets accepted by the Halton Municipalities require a total of 92,500 new residential unit by 2031 – an increase of 70 per cent over the original projections used to establish infrastructure needs.

This would leave a funding shortfall of about $940M, including $515M related to water and wastewater infrastructure. Bill 134 could add another $1B to the cost depending on how it defines affordable funding.

And without funding from the province, the money will have to come out of taxpayers’ pockets.

A copy of the report has been sent to various Provincial ministries.

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