The Brampton News - http://www.thebramptonnews.com
Peel Passes 2014 Budget with Modest Tax Increase
http://www.thebramptonnews.com/articles/5948/1/Peel-Passes-2014-Budget-with-Modest-Tax-Increase/Page1.html
Region of Peel
The Region of Peel delivers a wide range of programs and services to more than one million citizens every day. This includes ambulance services, public health, long-term care, child care, waste collection, recycling and disposal, water and wastewater services, Regional road construction and maintenance, social assistance and affordable rental housing. Regional Headquarters are located at 10 Peel Centre Dr., Brampton, ON. Phone Number: 905-791-7800. 

For frequent updates, visit Region of Peel for more information. 
By Region of Peel
Published on 12/13/2013
 
Brampton - Regional Council approved the 2014 Operating and Capital Budget of $3.3 billion which recommends an overall net tax levy increase of 1.5 per cent, below Council's target of 1.8 per cent.



Brampton - Regional Council approved the 2014 Operating and Capital Budget of $3.3 billion which recommends an overall net tax levy increase of 1.5 per cent, below Council's target of 1.8 per cent. The tax levy, when applied to the Regional portion (42 per cent) of the overall property tax bill, will result in a 0.6 tax increase for property owners and businesses in Peel. Residential property owners will pay an average annual increase of $27 (or $1,783 per household assessed at $409,500) and small business owners will pay an average annual increase of $45 (or $3,104 per small business assessed at $500,000). Industrial and Commercial owners will pay an average annual tax increase of $134 and $150 respectively.

The total property tax bill for homeowners and businesses in Peel is comprised of three separate costs for Region of Peel services, education, and area municipality services provided by Brampton, Caledon or Mississauga.

Utility users will see a seven per cent increase to their water and wastewater bill – which translates to an annual increase of $39 for the average household and $94 for small businesses. User fees for water and wastewater services are based on consumption, with average annual residential consumption at 310m3 and average small business consumption at 730m3. The utility rate covers the cost to treat and deliver fresh drinking water and to treat wastewater from homes and businesses, while also ensuring the infrastructure remains in a state of good repair. With the 2014 Budget increase, Peel's utility rate continues to remain the lowest among GTA municipalities, with the average household bill at $540 per year.

"Prudent fiscal management of tax dollars is at the core of Regional Council's commitment to residents and businesses in Peel," said Emil Kolb, Regional Chair and Chief Executive Officer. "Council continues to look for better and more cost effective ways to deliver our services, while ensuring our citizens are receiving the right supports when they need it."

The 2014 Operating Budget of $2 billion includes expenditures to maintain existing service levels and to introduce enhanced services to meet increased community needs. Operating spending includes services such as garbage collection, police and paramedics, long term care homes and community support services for seniors, affordable housing, accessible transportation and roads, water and wastewater, child care subsidies and supports for children with special needs, public health initiatives, financial and employment assistance (Ontario Works), conservation, community investment initiatives and PAMA (Peel Art Gallery, Museum and Archives). As an upper-tier municipality the Region of Peel provides services, many of which are mandated by the Province of Ontario, that are different from those provided by the local municipalities of Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga.

The 2014 Capital Budget of $1.3 billion provides the resources to acquire, improve or maintain major capital assets such as Regional road networks, waste management initiatives, water and wastewater treatment facilities and transmission mains, as well as the buildings and infrastructure to operate Regional services for the wider community. In addition to the 2014 Capital Budget, a 10-year $5.8 billion Capital Plan helps to manage assets over a long-term period to accommodate for projected growth and development needs. 

"Recognizing that complex pressures were impacting our ability to provide existing services at current tax levels, Council sought to minimize the burden of tax, so that any potential increases remain affordable," said Richard Whitehead, Regional Councillor and Management Committee Chair. "The 2014 Budget allows us to meet operational demands and preserve capital assets so that we do not compromise the integrity of the quality of services provided at the Regional level."

Peel's Long-Term Financial Planning Strategy outlines financial principles for each annual budget to support the sustainability of assets, deliver value for money, mitigate significant fluctuations in tax and utility rates and make prudent investments. The 2014 Budget, by adhering to these long-term strategic principles, maintains its Triple A (AAA) Credit Rating and reflects Peel's commitment to being citizen focused, fiscally responsible and financially stable.

Norma Trim, Chief Financial Officer and Commissioner of Corporate Services noted various pressures which are impacting the 2014 Budget. Along with an anticipated population growth in Peel of 23,650 residents per year based on estimates by the Province, changing demographics such as an aging population will place greater demands on operational services. In addition, slower economic growth of the global and national economy and regulatory and legislative changes will also place some strain on local and Regional resources. In order to respond to these complex pressures, Trim noted that the Region's increasing reliance on technology and information will further increase efficiencies to deliver services and respond to residents' needs.

The 2014 Budget includes the following service-level increases:

- 40,000 more trips for accessible transportation services
- 400 more subsidized child care spaces and elimination of the wait list for child care subsidy
- 100 more spaces for children with special needs
- Additional 360 rent supplement subsidies and 128 low-income families supported by Peel Renovates assistance
- An additional 17 agencies supported through the Community Investment Program
- One additional ambulance on the road (or 5,110 additional Paramedic Service hours to address increase in 911 calls),along with a new Public Access Defibrillation and CPR promotion program
- 6,000 additional immunization records assessed
- Pilot for Extended Community Recycling Centre (CRC) hours
- Increase in recyclable materials accepted in Peel's Blue Box Recycling program
- Additional 22 front line Peel Regional Police officers to respond to increasing service delivery demands

Where Your Regional Tax Dollar Goes


For more information, visit the Region of Peel's 2014 Budget website.