Greater Sudbury city council is slated to approve the municipality’s 2023 tax rates on May 29, which would enact an overall 4.5 per cent residential rate hike.
This includes both municipal and education taxes.
The due dates for all classes will be set for July 4 and Aug. 4, and taxes are set to bring in $332,322,424.
With the tax plan unanimously approved by the finance and administration committee of city council on May 16, despite a concern regarding tax rates in The Valley being flagged, it’s anticipated the rates will be ratified.
The tax rate in The Valley was affected by a 2021 decision of city council to add eight career firefighters to Station 16 in Val Therese, which were applied to the city’s area rating model. The model affects tax rates depending on the area of the city to cover fire and transit services.
As such, the average residential property owner in The Valley faces a property tax hike of 6.4 per cent against the city’s average of 4.5 per cent
Ward 5 Coun. Mike Parent and Ward 6 Coun. René Lapierre flagged the disproportionate tax increase earlier this month, but were told by city administration that delaying the tax rollout would cost the city approximately $420,00 in investment earnings.
This is the final of three years the firefighters’ tax burden is being eased from the general tax base onto residents of the former City of Valley East.
This year’s tax policy has also found the city decrease its industrial tax ratios slightly, due to them exceeding the provincial threshold (threshold is 2.63, and the industrial rate is 3.59 and 4.168 for large industrial).
These numbers are in comparison to one for residential, meaning industrial property owners pay 3.59 times more on property taxes than residential property owners.
The city has reduced the industrial tax ratios slightly each year, resulting in $650,000 in tax revenue shifting from industrial properties to other property classes in 2023. All other ratios remain unchanged.
The city’s 2023 tax policy anticipated city council will approve on May 29 maps out a plan to pay for 2023 budget decisions made in February.
Some highlights from the budget include:
- Greater Sudbury Police Service hiring 10 additional sworn members this year as part of a three-year effort to bolster their ranks by 24.
- Adding two ambulance shifts to their operations in order to better tackle response time goals.
- Implementing gateway speed limits in each of the city’s 12 wards.
- A $1.24-million interim fix to Fielding Road
- An employment land strategy to help “guide strategic infrastructure investments and policy development.”
- Six mobile speed enforcement cameras will be deployed this year.
This year’s budget was particularly challenging for city council. They tasked administration with cutting $17.8 million from the base budget in order to hit the 3.7-per-cent tax increase used as a starting point for budget deliberations.
The May 29 city council meeting agenda also includes a motion by Mayor Paul Lefebvre for the city to proceed with the creation of an ad-hoc committee called the “Future-Ready Development Services Committee.”
This follows through on a pledge he made during a March 30 speech at a Northeastern Ontario Construction Association event. At the meeting, he pledged to create a new committee of city council to find the “best way of streamlining and of encouraging investment in Sudbury.”
It’s mandate/purpose, according to the motion tabled by Lefebvre, will be, “To assess the potential for the City of Greater Sudbury’s development services to reflect leading practices that ensure support for growth is timely and efficient and the municipality has the capacity, best-in-class policies and processes to support anticipated growth in residential and non-residential development over the next 10-15 years.”
The public component of the May 29 city council meeting is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. It can be attended in-person at Tom Davies Square or live-streamed online by clicking here.
Tyler Clarke covers city hall and political affairs for Sudbury.com.