BRAMPTON, ON. (Feb. 24, 2011) – Region of Peel Council today approved a balanced 2011 budget resulting in a 2.5 per cent tax increase to the average Peel household. The budget supports Council’s goals of delivering services at 2010 levels while addressing the service demands of a larger population in 2011.
“Regional Council is committed to delivering quality services to our residents and businesses in the most cost effective way,” said Regional Chair Emil Kolb. “We need to ensure the needs of our most vulnerable residents and the service demands of a growing and changing community are met as we control the costs of delivering those services. This budget allows us to do that.”p>
The average Peel household will see a combined tax ($41) and utility rate ($36) increase of $77 for Regional services in 2011. The average small business will pay an additional $81 in taxes and $82 for water and wastewater services, for a $163 total increase. Regional services make up one portion of the total municipal tax bill. Services provided directly by Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga comprise another portion while education services comprise a third portion. Rates for utilities, including water and wastewater services, were approved to increase by 9.1 per cent.
Regional staff were able to maintain services at a net zero increase because of several mitigating factors including achieving efficiencies, making improvements to programs and applying an assessment growth of 1.79 per cent. As well, the Ontario government removed the costs of some social programs from the property tax bill and provided an additional $13.3 million as a result of changes in the Ontario Works funding formula which will be used to address Peel’s housing waitlist and other poverty issues. Police Services required a 2.2 per cent increase for 27 new Peel Regional Police officers and five emergency call centre staff serving Brampton and Mississauga, and five additional Caledon OPP officers. The three Regionally-supported Conservation Authorities and property assessment services required a combined 0.3 per cent increase.
Water and wastewater rates were impacted by rising electricity rates, increasing service demands, inflation, the Harmonized Sales Tax and the need to maintain a network of buildings and pipe systems serving 292,000 households and businesses.
The approved budget includes a $1.7 billion operating budget and a $900 million capital budget investment to support the demands of a growing population and to maintain a state of good repair of existing assets.
Peel provides a broad range of services to more than 1.35 million residents and approximately 86,000 businesses in the Cities of Brampton and Mississauga and the Town of Caledon through the following program areas: water and wastewater services, road construction and traffic signalization, waste collection and recycling, police services, social assistance, social housing, early learning and childcare, public health services, long term care, paramedic services, emergency planning, 9-1-1, TransHelp, conservation activities and the Peel Heritage Complex.
The 2011 Regional budget supports Peel’s growing, culturally diverse and aging population, projected to grow by 21,000 new residents in 2011 in some of the following ways:
- 13,899 families and individuals receive financial assistance and job supports
- 43 ambulances on the road at peak times respond to 80,000, 9-1-1 calls
- 428,908 accessible transportation trips for individuals with disabilities
- 16,205 families and individuals in social housing
- 7,500 subsidized child care spaces provided for families
- Police protect a growing number of people and properties
- Emergency call centre staff respond to emergencies promptly
- 1,551 lane kilometres of roads, 110 bridges and 416 signalized intersections move people, goods and products
- 486,629 tonnes of waste managed to ensure the smallest environmental impact
- 250,180 resident days of care (703 beds) in five long term care homes
- 63,000 children screened for dental health
- 239,685 immunization records reviewed
- 10,850 Healthy Babies Healthy Children assessments
- 91,000 catch basins treated for West Nile Virus
- Peel Heritage program connects residents through culture and art
- Conservation Authorities protect and manage water resources, wetlands and forests, provide educational and recreational opportunities, and preserve and restore natural heritage features within Peel
“I am proud that our new budget will deliver better service to residents including 27 new police officers and a strong mandate to control costs at a 2.5 per cent increase to taxes,” said Regional Councillor Eve Adams, Management Committee Chair. “I always seek good value for our taxpayers in every budget.”
Complete information about the Region’s proposed 2011 budget appears on the Region’s website at www.peelregion.ca/finance/.
The Regional Municipality of Peel was incorporated in 1974 on the principle that certain community and infrastructure services are most cost-effectively administered over a larger geographic area. The Region of Peel serves more than 1.3 million residents in the Cities of Brampton and Mississauga and the Town of Caledon.
For more information on the Region of Peel, please call 905-791-7800 or visit peelregion.ca.