City of Kingston considers hiking property taxes for KHSC redevelopment

·2 min read

The City of Kingston is seeking feedback on hospital redevelopment fundraising plans ahead of Tuesday's city council meeting.

The provincial government has agreed to cover most of the bill, but a 10% share of the project must be raised locally.

Mayor Bryan Paterson shared a video to his Youtube page on Thursday discussing the potential plan that would see property taxes increase 0.6% to raise $15 million over 10 years for the project.

Paterson says the ask comes from the Hospital Foundation, who have requested $25 million in contribution from the city, and that the city currently expects to be able to budget $10 million over the next decade.

In the video, Paterson says a number of building facilities are too small and outdated, and in addressing this problem the province has agreed to take on 90% of the cost of what could be a nearly $1 billion project.

Paterson told YGK news that in order to fund a project of this size, everyone in Kingston will have to contribute to some degree, and that he understands that might be difficult to stomach for some.

"Quite frankly I think this is recognizing that this is something that everybody in the community would need to contribute to," Paterson says.

"And that's a big ask, that's a big request. We're going to discuss the request on behalf of Kingstonians, all residents in all areas of the city that ultimately use hospital services but also to recognize it's a tough moment where we know a lot of people are struggling financially."

He added that the city is not looking at cutting the budget in other areas to contribute funding to the redevelopment.

Paterson says he expects strong opinions on both sides of this project, but also called the hospital redevelopment "critical for our community's future".

For a city with such an active rental market, there are some worries that this could contribute to increasingly unaffordable prices for those without a property of their own.

Council will discuss the idea at Tuesday's meeting, and is encouraging feedback from residents ahead of that time.

Owen Fullerton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, YGK News

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