Marking Up at Markham: City Needs to Raise Property Taxes by 93.3% from 2024 to 2026 to Support Ontario’s Bill 23

In the 2023 budget tabled in January, Markham proposed a 6.4% increase in property tax for 2023 and an eye-watering 93.3% increase over 2024 to 2026. While the council ended up approving a moderate 3% tax increase in April from the proposed 6.4% — and a 93.3% increase over two years just sounds incredulous — residents are still sounding the alarm as 2024 draws closer.

The proposed figures were due mainly to the impact of Bill 23, or the More Homes Built Faster Act, on the city’s future budget. In the January city staff presentation of the “2023 Budget Overview,” which proposed the 93.3% increase for 2024 to 2026, 78% of the budget was the projected provision for the future impacts of Bill 23.

On top of this, Ward 6 Councillor Amanda Yeung Collucci also noted that 1% of the 2023 increase was for future Bill 23 parkland, growth studies and reduced development charge collection impacts, and another 1% for the reduction of development cost funded salary recoveries, bringing the impact of Bill 23 to 80% of the proposed increase. 

In the announcement of the approved budget, Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti highlighted the need to develop “a new long-term permanent municipal funding strategy” that will make it possible “to maintain service levels and fund critical infrastructure projects which support new growth.” 

RELATED: Toronto Unveils New Housing Taxes and Revenue Strategies to Address Funding Shortfall

“The 2023 Markham Budget strikes the right balance between investing in important programs and services, while also keeping property taxes as low as possible in order to provide residents with relief during uncertain times,” Scarpitti said in a statement, signaling that the city, which was unwilling to raise property tax to 6.4% this year, would not be jacking it up to 93.3% to cover for Bill 23. 

“While I support the province’s ambitious target to build 1.5M homes over 10 years, 44,000 of which are targeted for Markham, this doubling of growth needs a practical framework to deliver complete communities. If the pace of home construction is to double, then so must the pace of funding from senior levels of government for more rapid transit, schools and hospitals.”

Information for this story was found via York Region news, X, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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