Council approves average annual tax hike of 3.9%

File photo by Alec Ross, BlackburnNews.com

London homeowners will be shelling out an extra 3.9 per cent annually in property taxes over the next four years.

City council approved the 2020-2023 multi-year budget on Monday. While the annual increase over the four-year span of the fiscal document is 3.9 per cent, this year’s tax hike is 4.4 per cent. That means taxpayers will owe an extra $124 on homes assessed at $241,000.

Budget chair Josh Morgan noted council reached the figure following robust public engagement and extensive debate.

“There were very few easy decisions,” Morgan said in a statement. “Council engaged in more than 49 hours of debate to be able to approve this multi-year budget. This was well supported by extensive public engagement on the budget which helped inform an overall debate that was thorough, thoughtful, and relevant.”

Over the next four years, the city will spend $63 million for homeless prevention and housing, $18.9-million in waste diversion and climate actions, $6.7 million in transportation and transit, and $21.8 million on its action plan to address safety concerns in the core.

“I am proud of strategic investments contained in this budget that will drive continued economic growth, improve how Londoners get around our city, while also supporting London’s most vulnerable,” said London Mayor Ed Holder. “Ultimately, we will be measured on results. I am fully confident we will deliver results on behalf of all Londoners while, at the same time, balancing care with cost.”

The water and wastewater budgets were also approved with an annual bump of 2.5 per cent for water rates and an average annual hike of 3.4 per cent for wastewater and treatment rates.