Community

City approves 2.99 per cent tax hike

The average homeowner here will fork out another $40 in municipal taxes after the City of Markham gave the 2024 budget its stamp of approval.

“We have created a strong and responsible budget, and we are proud of our fiscal management,” Mayor Frank Scarpitti says. “With a 2024 property tax rate increase of 2.99 per cent, Budget 2024 keeps affordability in mind and introduces a new seniors’ tax relief program.”

Scarpitti tabled A Strong Markham: Budget 2024 on January 29 and the City held a public meeting on February 15 as part of its commitment to budget transparency. “Markham continues to have the lowest average tax rate increase in the Greater Toronto Area over 19 consecutive years,” he says. “With the support of Council, Markham leads the way in delivering excellent services and investing in new infrastructure, while maintaining our assets in a state of good repair. Together, we are always working for a stronger Markham.”

The $590.5-million budget includes $118.3 million in capital funding to deliver 271 projects that support a variety of programs and services, the City reports. A total of $43.8 million of the capital budget relates to new infrastructure to service growing communities and includes $33.6 million for road widening and construction; $4.5 million for sidewalks; $1.7 million for traffic signals and pedestrian crossings; $3.1 million to construct Cornell Centre East and West Parkettes, Innovation and Songbird Parks, and to expand James Cochrane Park; and $3 million for new Markham Centre and Rouge Valley trails.

A total of $74.5 million of the capital budget has been earmarked to keep existing community infrastructure in a good state of repair, prepare for changing climate conditions and support Markham’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. That includes $10.4 million for repair and rehabilitation of recreation and cultural facilities and related amenities; and $5.4 million for asphalt resurfacing and curb, sidewalk and parking lot repairs.

Facility upgrades and artificial turf replacement at Mount Joy Sports Dome will cost $1.3 million while refurbishing basketball, tennis and pickleball courts across the city carries a price tag of $1.2 million. Highlights also include $1 million for roofing at City facilities; $1.2 million for tree canopy and Trees for Tomorrow Program; and $1.4 million for HVAC replacement and building automation system upgrades.

On the technology front, the budget includes funds to transform and modernize service delivery and test new technologies. Highlights include $2.2 million for a new Customer Relationship Management system to modernize and improve customer service provided by the Contact Centre and City departments; $1.1 million for the City website and new mobile capability; and $2.5 million in grant funding to pilot leading edge mobility solutions in Markham Centre from Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN) Demonstration Zone.

A 3.5 per cent water rate increase is included in the budget to support water and wastewater services and represents increase of $35.26 for the average homeowner. Most of that increase will cover the cost of purchasing water from the City of Toronto through York Region. For more information about Budget 2024, visit markham.ca/Budget.

From left, Ward 1 Coun. Keith Irish; Ward 2 Coun. Ritch Lau; Ward 3 Coun. Reid McAlpine; Ward 4 Coun. Karen Rea; Regional Coun.Alan Ho; Deputy Mayor Michael Chan; Mayor Frank Scarpitti; Regional Coun. Jim Jones; Ward 5 Coun. Andrew Keyes; Ward 6 Coun. Amanda Yeung Collucci; Ward 7 Coun. Juanita Nathan; Ward 8 Coun. Isa Lee. Photo courtesy of the City of Markham.

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