Volume 12 Week 5

Tuesday, Jan. 21


Posted Jan. 10

Posted Jan. 9

Posted Jan. 7


Orléans Ward
Matt Luloff

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney


(Posted 7 a.m., Dec. 13)
City council sets three per cent tax increase target
By Fred Sherwin

Ottawa residents can expect to see a three per cent increase in their property taxes next year, along with a 2.5 per cent increase in OC Transpo fares and other user fees.

Those are the targets established by city staff under the direction of Mayor Jim Watson as they set out to put together a draft budget for 2019.

A third of the revenue raised by the three per cent increase, or $9.8 million, will be used to tackle the city`s $70 million infrastructure renewal funding gap. The rest of the money will be used to cover growth-related expenditures..

A three per cent tax increase equates to an extra $100 for the average property assessed at $350,000. The OC Transpo fare increase won`t come into effect until July 1. How it will be applied across the transit service's fare and pass structure`will be revealed when the draft budget is tabled next month.

The city had planned to eliminate the infrastructure renewal funding gap over the next 10 years, but after hearing residents' concerns about the deteriorating state of Ottawa's roads and other infrastructure, the former council directed staff to come up with ways to cut the timeline in half. One of those ways was to add one per cent to the tax rate in 2019 which will flow through to subsequent years, generating an additional $9.8 million a year for the forseeable future.

Although the money is currently earmarked to repair the city's aging infrastructure, it can eventually be used to pay for other expenditures if so directed by council.

Members of the finance and economic development committee, which includes the chairs of the various standing committees will now work with staff to develop the draft budget over the next six weeks. The document will then be tabled on Feb. 6, followed by a public consultation process and committee review. The final budget will be approved on March 6.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)


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