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Crombie says 2.2% Mississauga tax increase delivers on promise

February 15, 2015
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MISSISSAUGA – 

The first post-Hazel McCallion budget passed Mississauga council with a 2.2% tax increase.

Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie says her first budget — after 36 years with McCallion at the helm — delivers on an election promise to bring in a tax increase at or around the rate of inflation.

Crombie told the Toronto Sun Thursday she believes the city’s rate of inflation is similar, perhaps slightly higher, than Toronto’s — 2.6%.

“We’ve come in well below it,” Crombie said. “I think I delivered on my promise of keeping a tax increase to the rate of inflation.”

The increase approved Wednesday night will mean a homeowner with a house valued at $500,000 will see an additional $59 added to the annual tax bill.

Crombie said the spending package allows the city to continue to deliver key services while expanding others. She points to an expansion of MiWay, the city’s transit service, as an important initiative.

Council approved an additional $3.3 million for the transit service to add 41,000 service hours. MiWay will hire 27 new drivers to help deliver the service.

“There aren’t people asking us to cut bus routes,” she said. “They’re asking us to enhance them.”

Crombie also volunteered to freeze her salary for her entire term at its 2014 rate — $139,000. Setting a good example when it comes to fiscal restraint is important, she said.

“I think it was just to show leadership,” she said.

Crombie has also asked city staff to conduct a review of all city services and programs with an eye to finding more budget efficiencies for 2016.

“We need to ensure we’re providing good value for taxpayers’ money,” she said. “If we’re in the right businesses. I do want to have that analysis of all of our programs and services. It will be a greater effort going forward to continue to provide budgets that are at the rate of inflation.”

Crombie also defended a 10-year, $10-million grant given to the University of Toronto-Mississauga to help pay for its Institute of Management and Innovation, calling it a “huge economic generator.”

“It’s an investment in our community,” she said. “There are many, many municipalities that would have loved to have had this Institute of Management and Innovation based in their municipalities.”

shawn.jeffords@sunmedia.ca

Article source: http://www.torontosun.com/2015/02/12/crombie-says-22-mississauga-tax-increase-delivers-on-promise

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