Peterborough draft budget property tax increase drops to 3.15%, transit spending frozen

The City of Peterborough's 2023 draft budget now includes a 3.15 per cent property tax increase, down from the initial four per cent proposed. File

The City of Peterborough’s 2023 draft budget will now see a 3.15 per cent property tax rate, down from the initial proposed four per cent.

City council on Wednesday agreed to reduce the property rate following a series of finance committee meetings this week to review the municipal draft budget. Last week featured public delegations who provided feedback on the draft budget.

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The city say the proposed increase of 3.15 per cent would equate to an additional $4.44 monthly or an additional $53.24 annually per $100,000 of residential assessment (at four per cent it was $5.63 monthly or an additional $67.61 annually).

The city also addressed a couple of initiatives to assist those experiencing homelessness.

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The city will add a third worker to its 24-hour overflow emergency shelter program and the 24-hour Brock Mission men’s shelter by using $200,000 from the Social Services Reserve. The position will help individuals with better support for referrals to services and to assist with housing searches, develop more of a harm-reduction focus, address service restrictions differently, and other functions.

However, council agreed to remove a plan to provide $55,000 a year to the Downtown Business Improvement Area (DBIA) for three years to support a new “systems navigator” staff position with the DBIA to help downtown businesses navigate social issues.

Click to play video: 'City of Peterborough to hire system navigator to support downtown businesses'
City of Peterborough to hire system navigator to support downtown businesses

Other changes to the draft budget include:

  • deferring a proposed $150,000 project for the next stage of the development of a Downtown Heritage Conservation District Plan; The project will be under consideration in the 2024 budget
  • contributing up to $10,000 from the capital levy reserve for the creation of a monument recognizing the impact of occupational disease on individuals and families

City council also voted down a request from Peterborough Public Health for a 22.14 per cent funding increase for 2023. The health unit was seeking $1,644,880 — approximately $287,780 more than the city provided in the 2022 budget.

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City council is expected to approve the 2023 budget on Jan. 30.

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