Corp Comm Connects


Vaughan taxes rise about $37 a year for average homeowner
March 12, 2015
By Adam Martin-Robbins

Vaughan council is poised to impose a 2.86 per cent tax hike this year.

That means the average homeowner, with a house valued at $587,000, would pay an extra $37 toward the city’s portion of the property tax bill.

On top of that, property owners have to pay the Region of York tax levy and the province’s education tax, which together account for about 70 per cent of your bill.

You have one more chance to share your thoughts about the city’s financial plan before the proposed hike takes affect.

A special council meeting has been called for Wednesday, April 1 at 7 p.m. in the council chamber at city hall, 2141 Major Mackenzie Dr.

If the budget passes, as proposed, the tax hike will go to help fund a $259.1 million operating budget and a $92.7 million capital budget.

That latter amount goes toward work on a number of projects including Carrville Community Centre and library; two artificial turf soccer fields at North Maple Regional Park; renovations at Kleinburg United Church to create a community space; water main replacement, and planting a few thousand trees.

Thornhill Councillor Alan Shefman, at Monday’s budget meeting, pushed to bump up the tax increase a bit to accelerate replacement of trees lost in the 2013 ice storm and to Emerald Ash Borer.

Without additional funding, city officials estimate it will take more than 20 years to restore Vaughan’s street tree canopy.

Shefman said people living in areas where all the trees have been destroyed believe it’s a “crisis” caused by an “extraordinary event” and they’re calling for an “extraordinary” response by city officials.

But his colleagues rejected the idea of pushing the tax increase above 3 per cent, opting instead to have the newly created budget task force work out a plan to deal with the growing cost of replanting trees.

The task force also faces the daunting task of whittling down spending for the next three years, given council’s decision to keep tax increase at or below 3 per cent through 2018.

The current four-year draft financial plan estimates the need for tax increases of 9.64 per cent in 2016, 4.14 per cent in 2017 and 4.25 per cent in 2018.