Average Hamilton homeowner will pay $75 more in taxes this year
The owner of an average house valued at $337,100 will pay $75 more
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.
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.