Average Hamilton homeowner will pay $75 more in taxes this year

The city passed its operating budget Thursday. The change amounts to a 1.9 per cent increase over last year. That means the owner of a house valued at $337,100 will pay $75 more.

The owner of an average house valued at $337,100 will pay $75 more

Here's how household tax dollars are distributed. (City of Hamilton)

The average Hamilton taxpayer will pay $75 more this year now that the city has passed its 2018 operating budget.

The change amounts to a 1.9 per cent increase over last year. That means the owner of a house valued at $337,100 will pay $75 more. The increase will vary from ward to ward.

City council approved its $522 million budget at a special meeting Thursday. It breezed through swiftly compared to last year, when the city had to cut 83.5 staff positions and trim just over $4.5 million from the way it delivers services.

All that work last year, including developing multi-year plans for each of the departments, made it easier to balance the books, said Brian McMullen, the city's director of financial planning.

Hamilton's 2018 operating budget is a 1.9 per cent increase over last year. (Terry Asma/CBC)

There were some challenges, especially around fixing the city's aging roads and bridges.

The city added $19.4 million to the budget earlier this month, or a 0.2 per cent increase, to try to keep up with pothole problems caused by up-and-down temperatures this winter. Overall, the budget includes $87.9 million to fix roads, bridges and sidewalks.

"Infrastructure is always going to be a problem," McMullen said.

Here are some other highlights:

  • $3.4 million in capital financing to support $36 million in transit capital projects. This leverages another $36 million from the federal government.
  • $9.4 million toward fire and paramedic equipment, including one more ambulance and 10 more full-time paramedics.
  • $11.5 million on affordable housing.
  • $7.2 million to fix Hamilton's entertainment facilities.

The city approved its capital and rate-supported budgets earlier this year.

With the latter, household water, wastewater and storm water rates increased 4.5 per cent. That means an average household paying $690.70 for 200 cubic metres of water a year will pay $29.75 more.

The portion of the capital budget funded by property taxes went up $7.5 million. That number is included in the operating budget total, and accounts for 0.9 per cent of the increase, or $30 to the average household.

About the Author

Samantha Craggs

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Samantha Craggs is a CBC News reporter based in Hamilton, Ont. She has a particular interest in politics and social justice stories, and tweets live from Hamilton city hall. Follow her on Twitter at @SamCraggsCBC, or email her at samantha.craggs@cbc.ca