7:30 a.m., Nov. 18)
City sticks to 2% tax hike promise
By Fred Sherwin
homeowners can expect a two per cent increase in their
property taxes next year in accordance with a campaign
promise made by Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson in the last municipal
tax increase is contained in the 2017 draft budget released
by city staff last week and represents an extra $72 for
the average home with a market value assessment of $395,400.
draft budget contains a number initiatives aimed at keeping
up with growth including monies for additional bus routes;
24 new paramedic positions and five new emergency response
vehicles; improvements to urban and rural cycling infrastructure;
additional funding for winter maintenance; increased funding
to support and strengthen community, recreation and cultural
agencies; and the establishment of an Arts Momentum Fund.
draft budget also includes a proposal to create a special
OC Transpo for low income residents. The EquiPass
would cost users $57 per month, which represents a 50
per cent discount from the regular adult monthly pass.
those individuals with household incomes below Statistic
Canadas low-income cut-off will qualify for the
Equi-Pass. The $2.8 million cost of the program will come
out of the citys social services budget.
are also being set aside for two significant studies in
2017. Two million dollars will be spent to complete
the planning phase the new central library and $7.5
million will be spent to further study the potential for
a downtown tunnel linking the Queensway to the McDonald
to the east end, the draft budget includes $2.35 million
for Cardinal Creek Park 18A; $1 million towards the construction
of the Trans-Orléans pedestrian and cycling pathway
which will connect Millennium Park in the east to Bradley
Estates in the west; and $800,000 for the completion of
Brian Coburn Blvd. Between Mer Bleue and Navan Road.
draft also calls for a number of new fee increases including
the introduction of 75-cent surcharge on tickets for productions
in the Richcraft Theatre in the Shenkman Arts Centre and
a $1.25 surcharge for productions in the main hall.
rentals will increase 5.6 per cent in 2017 if council
approves the budget and the cost of renting sport fields
will increase two per cent, but minor leagues that want
to rent artificial turf fields will see a 25 per cent
decrease in rates. Most of the fee increases are in the
two per cent range.
social service agencies will get an additional $610,000
to share amongst themselves, which is $110,000 more than
what they had originally asked for.
music to the ears of organizations like the Orléans-Cumberland
Community Resource Centre and the East Ottawa Resource
Centre which has been lobbying the city to increase social
service funding for years.
Residents can learn more about the budget by visiting
citys various standing committees will begin hearing
from delegations on their portion of the draft budget
starting on Nov. 22. Residents and public delegations
can register to have their voice heard at http://ottawa.ca/en/city-budget-have-your-say.
debate on the budget will take place on Dec. 14.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support
of our local business partners.)