Council review of Burlington’s operating budget begins at Jan.18 budget committee

Public budget meeting Jan. 10, 6:30 Holy Cross Lutheran Church at 3455 Lakeshore Rd.

Adapted from City of Burlington press release: Review by members of council of the City of Burlington’s proposed 2018 operating budget will take place on Monday, Jan. 18 at 9:30 a.m. at the Committee of the Whole budget meeting.

The 2018 operating budget delivers a base budget increase of 0.46 per cent to maintain city service levels (after being reduced by .41% in “assessment growth” from new taxpayers as a result of new developments).


Other impacts to the 2018 operating budget include:

  • $1.9 million or an additional tax increase of 1.25 per cent dedicated to the renewal of city infrastructure as outlined in the Asset Management Plan.
  • $1 million or an additional tax increase of 0.65 per cent for legislative changes to the Employment Standards and Labour Relations Acts (Bill 148) including increases to minimum wage.
  • $1.3 million or an additional tax increase of 0.84 per cent for changes in transit to provide operational sustainability.
  • $1.2 million or an additional tax increase of 0.78 per cent for impacts from the 2014 arbitrated Fire settlement.
  • $320,000 or an additional tax increase of 0.21 per cent to enhance maintenance standards on city sports fields.
  • The capital program represents the largest investment from tax dollars. Of the $159.9 million collected through the tax levy, $34.72 million will fund the capital program. The capital budget was approved in December.

These changes deliver a total city tax increase in the proposed 2018 operating budget of 4.19 per cent. When combined with Halton Region’s proposed tax increase and no change for education, the overall tax increase is projected at 2.49 per cent or $21.03 per $100,000 of Current Value Assessment.

More money for transit

There is an additional proposal from transit staff for five extra transit drivers to provide a buffer of “layover and recovery time” to ensure schedules and connections are met in the case of traffic, weather or other impacts. Current standards are 13 per cent recovery time; Burlington Transit is currently below this threshold 65 per cent of the time.

If the extra drivers are added to the budget, there’s an additional increase of $372,424, or .24 per cent, bringing the city-only portion of the tax increase to 4.34 per cent.

Historic tax increases, comparison

According to an analysis by finance staff, since 2011, overall tax increases in Burlington (when blended with Region and Education taxes) have averaged 1.9 per cent. In a comparison of property taxes in municipalities in the Great Toronto Hamilton Area, Burlington’s property taxes are the third lowest for a residential single-family detached home, say staff. City of Burlington taxes for a home assessed at $500,000 are $1,900.25.

Public meetings

Council approval of the proposed 2018 operating budget is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 22, at 6:30 p.m.

Members of the public who would like to speak at the Committee of the Whole budget meeting as a delegation can register by calling 905-335-7600, ext. 7481 or visiting The deadline to register as a delegation for the Jan. 18 meeting is noon on Jan. 17, 2018.

On Jan. 10, 2018 at 6:30 p.m., Ward 4 Councillor Jack Dennison will host a 2018 budget meeting, open to the public. The meeting will be held at Holy Cross Lutheran Church at 3455 Lakeshore Rd.

Links and Resources

A copy of the proposed operating budget is available online at

For more information about Burlington’s budgets, visit

Learn more about Burlington’s Asset Management Plan.

Watch a video about Burlington’s long-term financial strategy.

My Take:

Watch for My Take and proposed amendments in an upcoming post. I believe there are ways to reduce the tax impact, and I also support the additional investment in transit.


Written by Marianne Meed Ward

A Better Burlington began in 2006 after my neighbours said they felt left out of city decisions, learning about them only after they’d been made.

As journalist for 22 years, I thought “I can do something about that” and a website and newsletter were born. They’ve taken various forms and names over the years, but the intent remains: To let you know what’s happening at City Hall before decisions are made, so you can influence outcomes for A Better Burlington.

The best decisions are made when elected representatives tap the wisdom of our community members, and welcome many different perspectives.This site allows residents to comment and debate with each other; our Commenting Guidelines established in 2016 aim to keep debate respectful.

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  1. Sure there’s a way to decrease the tax impact as YOU say – 1st & foremost scrap the expansion of Joseph Brant Museum!!! WE as taxpayers were NOT given an opportunity to give our input on it & it is another one of these things that start out as a “nice to have” that turn into a “gotta have.” A waste of another $10,000,000 + and never mind giving us the crap old line that the Provincial Govt & Feds are giving x # of $ towards it, it STILL comes out of our pockets no matter what, So how about for ONCE the mayor & coucil DO something positive & TURN DOWN projects like this?!?

    • Charlie, such a long list over the past several years–the “Artwork(?)” on Upper Middle, the Pier, the PAC. the New Street Fiasco, the Brant Museum. The major problem is that Goldring is a committed “tax and spender”, just like his Liberal buddies in Queen’s Park and Ottawa. No sign of fiscal prudence anywhere! Unless the City adopts “zero-based” budgeting with line-by-line accounting, there is no budgeting. Each department just submits last year’s budget +++++.

What's your take?

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