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

Update on Louis St Laurent Opening

As Christmas time approaches we are all asked…what would you like for Christmas?  I know the answer of many residents on the west side of Milton…more options to get across town.

The Louis St Laurent extension from Bronte St to Savoline has been slated to be completed by the end of the year.  As those days got closer, so did the build of anticipation from residents and councillors alike.  So much that Ward 8 Councillor and I took a walk along the road mere moments before it was officially opened.

As we get more information on when it will be further opened to Tremaine Road, we will keep you informed.

Until then…Merry Christmas!

MOCKTAIL Competition May 12th at Milton Mall

A number of my councillor collegues have entered into a MOCKTAIL Competition on Saturday May 12th, 2012 at the Milton Mall.

Yours truly along with Mayor Gord Krantz, Councillors Zeeshan Hamid, Rick Di Lorenzo, Greg Nelson, Colin Best and Cindy Lunau will be providing our best mocktails for your sampling pleasure and you end up voting for the best ones (HINT Cluett Cool-Aid) with proceeds going to the Salvation Army as part of a nationwide food bank promotion.  The way it works is simple.

You sample the Mocktails from our group (HINT Cluett Cool-Aid) and place a donation for the corresponding mix. (HINT Cluett Cool-Aid)  Then you mock the rest of the group and CHEER for Cluett Cool-Aid!  Well, dont mock them as its not their fault.

I’m kidding.  It will be a blast and hopefully we can raise some money for the Salvation Army and our local food bank in Milton.

NOW, Im sure you’re going to ask this.  What if I cant make it?  THAT’S EASY!!  You can make a donation at anytime before hand, just send me an email and I will come pick it up from you.  Its that simple.

Each vote costs $2.00 but you can donate as much as you want either that day or before hand.  The more the better as I want to make sure the rest of my friends around the council table know that Cluett Cool-Aid is the ONLY way to go.

Milton Haunted House a HUGE Success

This past weekend at the Milton Mall was another edition of the Milton Haunted House.  Hundreds of children, young and old, made their way through a maze of ghouls n ghosts with surprises around every corner.

The Haunted House originated from Ward 7 Councillor Rick Di Lorenzo’s garage in Hawthorne Village.  People used to come from all over town to visit his home during Halloween to take part in his ghoulish creation.  Just last year, Rick along with others held this event at the Pirate Festival and raised over $5,700 for Milton District Hospital Foundation.

This years goal was $10,000 and even though the donations are still being counted, we are confident we either hit or surpassed our goal.  On behalf of the team (which included a LOT of people) I want to thank Miltonians for their generosity.  Our donation boxes were filled to the brim over the course of the two days and we were blown away by the enthusiam of the residents of our town.

To Rick and his even more enthusiastic mother 🙂 , Zeeshan, Jennifer, Kim, Ed, and the MANY volunteers, actors, face painters, greeters, raffle ticket sellers and everyone who took part in the event….THANK YOU!

Another big THANK YOU goes to the sponsors of the event who helped us out.  MinMaxx Realty, Milton Canadian Champion, Mattamy Homes, SST Group, Milton Nail Spa and of course without the help and space from Milton Mall, this couldnt have happened.

Taking Miranda around trick or treating last night I had the chance to hear directly from people who did come to the haunted house and the reviews were fantastic and they cant wait for next year.  There are a bunch of volunteers who are pretty tired and who also have the fun task of taking down the scary structure in the mall but Im sure theyll be ready to go for next year.

I was happy to help out this weekend and it was great to see all the smiling faces and the kids who came back more than once to get the full effects of the haunted house.  Some didnt make it through all the way and had to turn back but Im sure next year they will be back again.

Thanks again to Rick for the concept of the haunted house and thanks to his wife Nicole who is expecting their second child any day now.  Thanks for letting Rick do this.

We will see you next year.  Stay tuned for the final total … all in support of the Milton District Hospital Foundation.  Our community needs this hospital expanded and the community showed just how much this weekend.  Thank you! 

Budget Input Session 2012

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Smith via Twitter

Last night was the first of hopefully many budget input sessions that myself, Rick Di Lorenzo, Zeeshan Hamid and Sharon Barkley put on for residents in wards 1, 6, 7 & 8. 

We were also lucky enough to have fellow councillor Rick Malboeuf and Region Councillor Colin Best attend as well.  That’s 6 sets of ears listening to peoples input on important issues that Milton faces in this years budget talks.

As I mentioned when we started the meeting opportunities for residents to provide input to town councillors have come few and far between in the past.  The last session I remember happening in this format was back on a rainy night in November of 2009 held by Colin Best. 

Last nights session was nothing short of great.  As we were ending the discussion between people continued…which is awesome. I hated to cut it off at that point.

There were a number of topics discussed from Fire, Transit, Parks, Roads, Taxes etc that we could have a full town hall meeting on its own but we were limited to only 2 hours.

Thanks to everyone who came and for those who didn’t come who sent me and other councillors feedback that we will incorporate into a report we will send to staff. These comments and concerns will be included in the budget discussions for the 2012 year and I cant thank you enough for having your say.

I know I’d like to have another one sometime soon as we get closer to November and items from other departments come out in reports and garner more discussion. The only difficulty I see is that the provincial election is gearing up and I don’t want this to fall by the wayside (plus I’ll be going around bugging party leaders with my GROW MILTON HOSPITAL signs Smile )

Thanks to my colleagues who came out to answer questions, get involved in discussions and helped make it truly a team effort last night.