The City of Burlington and I will be hosting a pair of Town Hall events in February to help us gather your feedback on the 2019 proposed city budget.
Earlier this month, city staff presented us with an overview of this year’s operating and capital budgets.
City staff has proposed a $1.67 million operating budget for 2019 with a city tax increase of 3.99 per cent (1.97 per cent to maintain services, 1.25 per cent for infrastructure renewal, and 0.77 per cent for service enhancements). When you combine the estimated regional and education tax rates for 2019, the increase for a Burlington homeowner will be 2.45 per cent — so, if you own a $500,000 home, you would be paying an additional $99.95 per year, or $1.92 per week.
I am looking to get this budget under 3 per cent for the city portion without compromising what I believe are city-essential services.
Take a look at the 2019 operating budget book for a breakdown and more details here: Proposed-Operating-Budget-Book-web
The proposed 2019 capital budget, which also sets out a 10-year forecast, is $96.8 million with a 10-year proposed total of $819.3 million. Take a look at the 2019 capital budget book for a breakdown and more details here: Proposed-2019-Capital-Budget-and-2020-2028-Forecast-web
Telephone Town Hall – Thursday, Feb. 7
From 7:30-8:30 p.m., I will host a live, call-in telephone Town Hall where residents can listen in and ask questions about the priorities of the proposed 2019 budget.
Burlington residential phone numbers will be randomly selected to be part of the telephone town hall, but if you would like to be added to the telephone call list, please email email@example.com by Tuesday, Feb. 5.
Anyone who does not receive a telephone invitation can call 1-800-837-8058 at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 7 to join the Town Hall.
In-person Town Hall – Central Arena – Monday, Feb. 11
From 2-3:30 p.m., I will host an in-person Town Hall in the auditorium at Central Arena at 519 Drury Ln.
Senior city staff will be at both town hall sessions to help answer questions.
You can also register to speak to Burlington City Council as a delegation at one of the upcoming following Committee of the Whole meetings. Both take place at City Hall in Council Chambers, located at 426 Brant St., on the second floor:
- Monday, Feb. 4 at 6:30 p.m. – delegations to speak on capital and operating budgets
- Thursday, Feb. 7 at 9:30 a.m. – delegations to speak on capital and operating budgets
The City of Burlington has put together a great video on Budget Basics to help you better understand where your money goes.
Also, be sure to take advantage of the City’s new Open Budget online tool: an app to display the city’s budget data in accessible, easy-to-understand charts, tables and graphs.
Public engagement is one of the most important things when it comes to city matters, particularly budget. With engagement, residents can not only see exactly where their tax dollars are going, but also understand how they and Burlington will benefit.
It also gives us, their elected representatives, a chance to hear their thoughts and ideas on what’s been proposed for the 2019 budget. Whether you want to attend in person or call-in to listen, I would encourage members of the community to ask questions and join the conversation.