A 3.24 per cent tax increase, a $1.6 million investment in 40km/h speed limits for residential areas and a program leader for the Vision Zero initiative are some of the changes and improvements outlined in Mississauga’s 2020 budget, which was approved Wednesday morning at their regular council meeting. The budget approval, which was deferred to Jan. 22 after councillors elected to wait last month for Peel Region to unveil its 2020 operating and capital budget, means that Mississauga residents will see their residential property tax increase by 3.24 per cent, or approximately $88.18 for a $680,000 property.
The residential tax increase is split between 1.60 per cent from the city and 1.64 per cent from the region. The approved budget includes $4.4 million in spending for new initiatives, including the hiring of a planning and zoning examiner to manage demand, renovation of Churchill Meadows Community Centre, 32,600 more service hours for the MiWay transit system and the hiring of a program leader for the Vision Zero initiative, which seeks to curb injuries and deaths on city streets. $1.6 million will also be invested for the implementation of new 40km/h speed limits in residential areas, as well as 30km/h school zones within neighbourhoods, while a further $3.8 million will be invested to help build new fire stations, trucks and equipment as well as enhanced public education programs and outreach. $2.9 billion will be invested over the next ten years to handle major capital projects, including the design of the new Cooksville Community Centre, renovation of libraries, construction of six new fire stations, support for the city’s cycling programs and redevelopment for the Burnhamthorpe and Carmen Corbasson Community Centres. In summary discussions before the budget was approved, Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie said that the strikes the right balance between keeping taxes in line with inflation while continuing to deliver services / residents expect. “We will continue to strive to deliver value for money for residents while making the strategic investments needed to stay competitive, be prepared for future growth and attract people and businesses from around the world,” said Crombie. “Investing in transit and new initiatives such as the long-awaited Churchill Meadows Community Centre will ensure our City is prepared for the future.”
The 2020 operating budget for the Stormwater Program was also approved, and totals $43.8 million, with infrastructure, flood relief projects and outreach activities planned. The 2020 increase for program is two per cent, or $108.20 per stormwater billing unit, up $2.10 from last year. In a statement, city manager Janice Baker said that council’s commitment to service excellence, fiscal responsibility and continuous improvement are key elements of business planning. “Construction and maintenance costs are rising and we are experiencing growing needs in our city including affordable housing, more transit infrastructure and funding for growth on the waterfront. With competing pressures and priorities, the two per cent special levy we are continuing to use helps keep our infrastructure in good repair.”