Happy Canada Day Milton

The weather was a bit unpredictable this year but the love and passion for Canada was no surprise this year for Canada Day in Milton. 

It started off with the annual breakfast for the veterans put on by the local Knights of Columbus.  Pancakes, sausages and back bacon were a plenty as we honoured the veterans and remembered those who fought and didn’t return keeping our country safe and free. 

This was followed by the march into the fairgrounds with our vets which always brings a smile to our faces. Due to the weather we had to hurry back to town hall for the swearing in of new Canadians – including local Miltonians the Attew Family who took the oath of citizenship.

Milton MP Lisa Raitt and Mayor Gord Krantz were among the dignitaries in attendance to welcome our new Canadians in a very emotional ceremony.

There were always lots of activities for families and kids of all ages at the fairgrounds and the Milton Canada Day committee once again did an outstanding job. 

Fireworks always end off the celebration and once agin, they didn’t disappoint. 

Thanks to everyone who came out to enjoy the celebrations and thanks to the volunteer committee and sponsors for making this happen. 

Happy Canada Day Milton. 

Milton Taxes – Value For Dollars Spent?

Earlier this month Racheal Williams from the Milton Canadian Champion approached members of council and the public a question about the property taxes we pay in Milton.  Do we get value for our tax dollar?

As you will read in the following article, there are a number of my colleagues who don’t share the same outlook when it comes to property taxes.  I don’t see taxation at different levels as others do.  I don’t look at one service and say “this will only cost $1.30 per $100,000 of the value of my home.”

Its the bottom line that matters.  The total at the bottom of your municipal tax bill should be affordable.  The total you see at the bottom of your tax bill is the regional portion, local portion and educational portion of the property taxes we pay.  Most taxpayers don’t see it that way.  Its the total amount of money that comes out of their bank account every quarter that makes the difference.

Milton has the second lowest tax rate in the GTA.

net muni levy

A lot of people “know” that but they don’t feel it.  In a recent budget call report to Milton Town Council, there were survey results that show only 20% of people perceive that the property taxes are lower than other jurisdictions.

This does shed some light as to what the Town of Milton, and quite frankly myself, needs to do to improve this.  We need to make sure the residents of Milton better understand the value for tax dollars they receive.

Here is a link to the article from Rachael Williams 

Milton mayor steadfast in keeping tax rates low

BUDGET TIME 2014

Its that time of year everyone.  You know what it is. Nope, not Christmas! Its BUDGET time in Milton and Halton! Dont get excited….Ive got you covered!

Here is the link for the 2014 Halton Region Budget http://www.halton.ca/cms/one.aspx?portalId=8310&pageId=11033 The Halton Region will be voting on their budget on December 11th.  The proposed increase is 0.4% when including the HRPS budget but overall a 0% increase budget for 2014.

Here is the link for the 2014 Town of Milton Budget http://www.milton.ca/en/townhall/budgets.asp The proposed increase is roughly 5% for the town budget but I will outline a number of ways to get that increase below the rate of inflation.

If anyone has questions or concerns, please let me know mike@mikecluett.ca I’ll be posting updates and some of the options here on my website over the next few days.

Until then, enjoy and I’ll see you at the doors.

Milton Volunteer Fair This Saturday

This Saturday (tomorrow actually) is the annual Milton Volunteer Fair at the Milton Sports Centre from 10am to 1pm.  If you are interested in learning about the different programs you and your family members can help out, this is the event for you.  There are going to be many representatives from organizations around Milton including Halton Regional Police, Milton Community Resource Centre (MCRC), Volunteer Halton among others to give you information on how you can improve our home town.

I hope to see you there.

(From the website)

Inviting all residents of Halton to come and check out the Milton Volunteer Fair on Saturday November 2nd from 10am-1pm at the Milton Sports Centre. Find out how you can become involved in the community and volunteer with one of the many community organizations on display! Hope to see you there.

Metrolinx Statistics Milton GO Station

Found this report online today and it had some very interesting statistics they’ve collected on who uses the GO Station in Milton, how many drive, bike, walk etc.  As you might have heard Metrolinx has started up what they call the BIG MOVE.  Its a plan for the next 25 years to look at options and create a transit system that can be integrated together to help promote increased use.  There are $56 BILLION projects planned and of course it takes money.  Part of this BIG MOVE is to find out the HOW we pay for it.

One of the issues I have with this whole process is that the provincial government (who runs Metrolinx) is essentially only discussing options for “dedicated revenue sources” which in government speak means TAXES.  Everything is on the table from dedicated gas tax increases, sales tax increases, congestion taxes, parking levies for businesses and the list goes on.

This blog post wont get into my disdain for the “tax first” mentality but to go over some statistics they’ve collected from Milton GO transit riders and review them to see what we can do first locally before jumping into the “dedicated revenue sources” discussion.

Here are some of the statistics that I found interesting:

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1,910 people end their trip at Milton GO Station (ie from out of town – mostly Cambridge/Guelph western riders)

2,720 people start their trip at Milton GO Station.

Of the 2,720 people starting their trip here, 86% use car, 7% walk, 4% bike/other and 3% use transit.

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GO Station access

76% of people drive and park
12% of people who drive get dropped off
7% of trips are made by local transit (not including GO Bus)
5% of trips to GO Station are made by walking

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Majority of GO customers 74% live within 5KM of the GO station.

With all the discussion going on about the Big Move www.bigmove.ca and coming up with ideas to fund this massive investment in transit, what kind of funding sources can be used here?  Parking fees?

My beef with the Big Move is that the provincial government agency Metrolinx have set up these meetings to discuss what needs to be done.  Forget for a second that they’ve moved plans for Milton expansion from their 15 year plan to 16-25 year plan, one could say that a case is being made for charging for GO parking.  Now given our current service level, I don’t think charging for parking is appropriate seeing how we have limited number of trains for this location but if there was increased service/flexibility would it be an idea you’d consider?

This goes out to those who take the GO in the morning and drive/park to the station.  What is stopping you from using Milton Transit?