Your property tax bill in 2020 may be greater than initially planned.A new report from London town hall says taxpayers may see a four percent tax hike in 2020, a substantial increase from the goal of 2.7 percent set before this year.A combination of provincial downloading and several agencies, commissions and boards submitting higher-than-expected budgets is supporting the increase. A four percent tax hike would mean an extra $114 for your average London homeowner with a home.
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London town council was expecting to achieve an annual tax increase of 2.7 percent over the budget between 2020 and 2023. However, as it currently stands, that annual increase is sitting at 3.2 a cent.Earlier this season, the provincial government announced its own plans to change certain provincially funded duties onto local authorities in hopes of lowering Ontario’s debt. “The downloading has been a factor on municipalities, however, it has also been a factor on our services, commissions and boards,” stated Ward 7 Coun.
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The report says provincial downloading in 2020 will add 1.4 percent to the city budget.The 14 bureaus, commissions and boards which submit a budget to city hall were given a goal of increasing their funding no greater than 1.5 percent, however only three were able to meet that goal.
“The good news is almost all of them have come in beyond the goal, which has really pushed potential tax increase up past what council was planning for,” said Morgan.Eldon House, RBC Place and Tourism London were the only local agencies to fulfill with the target. Provincial downloading has been blamed for the bureaus missing their targets. “Part of why a number of them weren’t able to create their goal is because (of) conclusions that the provincial government has made through their funding process,” Morgan stated.
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Among the biggest budget surprises comes from the Middlesex-London Paramedic Service, the team report reveals them requesting a 32.4 percent boost in 2020, up from 7.5 percent the year before. Museum London, Upper Thames River Conservation Authority, Kettle Creek Conservation Authority, the London Transit Commission and London Police Service are among the other bureaus with greater than desired budget requests. The London Police Services Board met last week to lower their funding request of an extra $12.4 million on four years.None of their funding requests include city council’s pet projects, as summarized in the 2019-2023 strategic plan. Those jobs amount to 0.5 percent of the tax hike. The funding pressures confronting city politicians is immense. Transit, affordable housing, policing, and the region action plan.
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Finding additional savings might be difficult. The multi-year budget includes $3.3 million in savings thanks to pulling and cuts funds from a set of reserve funds.Budget talks will not start in earnest until Dec. 9.
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