Local and Regional Councillor Mike Cluett pointed to a number of other challenges with keeping taxes low, the biggest of which is a lack of money coming from the province.
“They (province) are the ones controlling the speed and volume of how much we are growing, yet are doing very little to help fund the growth,” adding the Halton Region is underfunded by close to $4 million.
And a sizable chunk of Milton’s growth is residential, which doesn’t generate a great deal of taxes. In 1999, the taxable assessment split was 68 per cent residential and 31 per cent non-residential. This year, it’s 77 per cent to 23 per cent, respectively.
“That is the primary financial reason that non-residential growth is so important to communities…this change has decreased the level of financial support provided by the non-residential sector and put additional stress on the Town’s financial resources to fund services and programs,” said Leeds.
Additional pressures are also felt by residents who moved to Milton from larger communities like Mississauga and Brampton, said Cluett, adding they are used to a high level of service because those communities had a larger tax base. Milton is still small in comparison.