Hamilton’s 2019 operating budget is now set in stone.
The $887-million blueprint was formally approved during Wednesday night’s city council meeting, and it calls for a 2.5 per cent property tax increase.
The 2.5 per cent jump translates to $88 for the average residential property, assessed at $358,600, although there will be variations depending on a home’s location within the city.
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Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger says he’s very pleased with a budget that “makes investments in some of the key issues we are challenged with” while arriving at what he calls a “reasonable” tax increase.
The highlights of Hamilton’s 2019 budget include:
- $1.8 million for an additional 39,000 service hours in the city’s transit strategy and $24.3 million towards upgrades and repairs to 350 transit shelters as well as 18 replacement Hamilton Street Railway buses
- $4.3 million for an additional 90,000 rides for DARTS, the city’s paratransit service
- $99.5 million towards affordable housing and homelessness programs, including emergency shelters, supportive housing, new affordable housing construction, repairs to social housing and eviction prevention programs
- $1.4 million in renovations to Hamilton’s two long-term care facilities
- Funding for childcare expansion in the Riverdale neighbourhood and for Indigenous families
- $3.7 million towards waste management initiatives
- $4.5 million towards forestry and horticulture
- $75.8 million towards roads, bridges, traffic operations and sidewalks rehabilitation
- $1.6 million (gross) for an additional ambulance and 10 new paramedics as well as development of a citywide drug and opioid strategy focusing on the pillars of prevention, harm reduction, treatment and enforcement
The full distribution of tax dollars for Hamilton’s 2019 operating budget can be found here.