By: Laura Steiner
Milton Mayor Gord Krantz is one of 27 large Urban Mayors to sign onto a statement voicing concerns regarding the provincial government’s 2019 provincial budget.
The Large Urban Mayors Caucus of Ontario (LUMCO) released the missive yesterday. It accused the province of “downloading by stealth, which it described as “implementing the funding and governance changes to municipalities without consultation, after cities have already approved our budgets.” At issue are cuts to public health, library services, and flood management among others. The 2019 provincial budget calls for cuts of $200 million over the next two years to public health, $58.6 million to library services, and a cut of 50% in transfer payments to conservation authorities for flood management.
LUMCO seeks a pause on the implementation of cutbacks until 2020. “City budgets across the province have already been passed because, as the province knows, because, as the Province knows municipalities operate on a fiscal year that runs from January to December- unlike the Province’s April to March fiscal year.” Milton Council passed the 2019 municipal budget called for an 8.3% municipal tax increase, or $20.11/ $100,000. When combined with the Regional portion it works out to $25.65/ $1000,000).
The group has invited Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark, and Premier Doug Ford to discuss the issue at their next meeting.
Milton Council Voices Concerns Over DCA Changes
The province is also making changes to its Development Charges Act (DCA). DC’s refer to the policy charged by the municipality to the residential developer per unit to help pay for infrastructure costs related to growth.
The changes affect how much is charged, and when it can be collected. Milton collects it prior to the building permit. The changes would reduce the Town’s flexibility impacting the housing supply.
Ward 3 Regional Councillor Mike Cluett brought forward a resolution asking the province to stop those changes. It proposes that Mayor Krantz write a letter expressing council’s concerns. The resolution passed unanimously. The Region of Halton faces a gap of $87.7 million/ year over growth related costs.