In January, Council will debate the 2016 budget. These discussions are always challenging and must balance the reluctance to ask residents to pay more than the rate of inflation, while also ensuring the City has the necessary capital to run well. Willowdale residents are particularly aware of tax increases as local property values continue to skyrocket. As these values ultimately determine the taxes residents pay, our community is disproportionately affected by all budget decisions.
For this reason John tends to support user fees as a budget tool on services from water, to trash to recreation. When residents directly pay for what they use, they aren’t charged more than residents in other parts of the city for the same level of service. They can also better control their personal costs by reducing their usage.
John is inclined to support Mayor Tory’s proposed 0.5% property tax levy to pay for new public transit projects and social housing. These are critical needs in the city that have been chronically underfunded. However, he is looking for assurances of oversight to ensure value for money and a continued push on other levels of government to support these initiatives as well.
As always, John welcomes your thoughts on this process. If you wish to share your views, send John an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.