The average taxpayer will fork out another $40 on the City of Markham portion of their property tax bill after Mayor Frank Scarpitti tabled a $590.5-million budget.
He presented A Strong Markham: Budget 2024 to City of Markham Treasurer Joseph Silva during a special council meeting on Monday, Jan. 29.
While the budget represents a 2.99 per cent hike over last year’s budget, Markham continues to have the lowest average tax rate increase in the Greater Toronto Area for 19 consecutive years, the City reports. “We continue to operate as an efficient government and we are proud of our fiscal management, while never compromising the high standard of service we enjoy,” Scarpitti says.
Budget 2024 includes $118.3 million in capital funding to deliver 271 projects. About 40 per cent or $43.8 million of that total relates to new infrastructure to service Markham’s growing communities. A total of $56 million will go towards road repairs, rehabilitation and traffic management improvements while $14.7 million will fund the construction and maintenance of parks and trails.
In preparation for changing climate conditions, the City has set aside $10.9 million for flood control, stormwater management construction, ponds and culverts. It will invest $1.8 million in green initiatives and environmental strategies as part of its commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. It has also earmarked $5.8 million for leading-edge technology to modernize systems and technology infrastructure.
About 60 per cent or $74.5 million will keep the existing community infrastructure in a good state of repair, including projects to repair and refurbish existing roads, recreation, library and cultural facilities and amenities, and improve stormwater infrastructure. That includes $10.4 million for repair and rehabilitation for recreation and cultural facilities and related amenities, $1.3 million for facility upgrades and artificial turf replacement for Mount Joy Sports Dome and $1.2 million for refurbishing basketball, tennis and pickleball courts.
Budget 2024 also reflects an increased investment of 0.7 per cent or $1.2 million as a proactive measure to repair and replace assets over the next 25 years. “Markham continues to flourish as a forward-thinking community, and we have created a strong and responsible budget rooted in sound investment and a record of fiscal prudence. We continue to invest in new infrastructure, while maintaining our assets in a state of good repair,” Scarpitti says.
“Budget 2024 supports important initiatives such as meeting the provincial target of building 44,000 homes over the next 10 years, while providing relief for a community grappling with higher costs of living,” he adds. Markham is supporting low-income seniors to stay healthy and age in place through the new Low-Income Seniors Property Tax Assistance Program, the City reports.
Members of the public can livestream or attend a Budget 2024 meeting on Thursday, Feb. 15 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Civic Centre.
Photo: Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti presents A Strong Markham: Budget 2024 during a Special Council Meeting.