Hamilton to face potential 14.2 per cent residential tax hike in 2024

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Published September 19, 2023 at 5:01 pm

A report released by the General Issues Committee on Sept. 13, estimates that Hamilton taxpayers could be levied with an increased residential tax as high as 14.2 per cent next year, which would be the highest increase in residential taxes in the past five budgets combined.

In 2023, property taxes increased by 5.8 per cent compared to the previous year. Mayor Andrea Horwath anticipates that the 2024 budget process won’t be easy.

“It’s going to be a challenging budget year, and I understand that people are struggling,” she said in a tweet.

Hamiltonians pay higher taxes when compared to their neighbours in Halton, Peel, and the Greater Toronto Area, and now the taxes could increase further due to the current economic situation.

The 2024 budget outlook reveals that several city departments need increased funding, including the division responsible for healthy and safe communities, capital financing, corporate finances, and public works.

One of the significant increases in spending is a $33 million allocation to tackle the city’s affordable housing and homelessness crisis, with the aim of assisting approximately 1,700 individuals currently without stable housing in the municipality.

“The five key main things in the report– this isn’t my opinion, this is actually listed in the report– affordable housing, climate change, transportation, employee relations, and public health and emergency response,” Ward 5 Coun. Matt Francis said.

“We also have inflationary pressures and provincial downloading,” he added.

During annual budget discussions, the council usually reduces the initial numbers to make them more affordable.

Last year’s 6.9 per cent increase was brought down to 5.8 per cent for the final budget.

Mayor Horwath said in a tweet that she has now directed City staff to bring down taxes as much as possible.

The General Issues Committee will begin budget discussions for 2024  on Sept. 20.

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