Advertisement

Brant County homeowners will see a tax increase of 8.7 per cent in 2024

Brant County homeowners will see an 8.7 per cent increase on their taxes this year, according to the budget passed by council on Tuesday night.

Councillors managed to whittle the property tax increase down from a starting point of 10.5 per cent, to an increase of around $300 for a $383,000 home — what the county defines as the median.

Still, longtime councillor Robert Chambers called it “the highest tax levy in the area — perhaps in most of Ontario,” on Tuesday, and said he believed they could have found additional ways to give taxpayers a better break.

Specifically, Chambers pointed to the expense of software and a new staff member to record council votes, and take on additional administrative support duties.

“We spent more time looking at decision packages to increase the tax levy, than we did looking at things in order to decrease the tax increase,” he said on Tuesday.

“The County of Brant is growing and with growth comes the need for more infrastructure such as roads, water and sidewalks, new services and programs and the staff to deliver services,” said a press release the county sent on Wednesday.

Key budget investments for 2024 include public transportation, projects like road and bridge improvements and emergency services facilities, the Biggars Lane landfill expansion, and inflationary costs including salaries and contracts, according to the press release.

A contentious item — a $720,000 reserve fund contribution for the new Brantford General Hospital — didn’t make the budget.

Nor did funding requests from several organizations working in intimate partner and gender based violence — something Coun. John Bell said on Tuesday he feels “quite embarrassed” about, after “we made pretty much a commitment that we were going to fund some of their work, and we haven’t.”

Celeste Percy-Beauregard’s reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. The funding allows her to report on stories about Brant County. Reach her at cpercybeauregard@torstar.ca.

Celeste Percy-Beauregard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator