Dedicated tax levy to begin in 2013
The former Peel Memorial Hospital site is being developed by the Province of Ontario as the Peel Memorial Centre for Integrated Health and Wellness. While health care funding is a provincial government responsibility, Brampton Council was asked by the William Osler Health System to commit funding in order to ensure that the development of this new health facility was given priority by the Province. Recognizing how important this health care centre will be to our community, Council committed $60 million to help finance this project. This is 50% of the local contribution required by the Province. The balance will be raised by the William Osler Health System through a variety of means.
Since health facilities funding is the responsibility of the provincial government, the City has not traditionally used municipal taxes for this purpose. This means that a dedicated tax levy is required to ensure that additional funds can be raised without impacting existing City programs and services. Council requested input from the public on this important issue, and feedback was gathered in February and March through a Town Hall meeting, a dedicated telephone line, the City’s website, and direct contact with the Mayor and Councillors. Thanks to everyone who took the time to provide feedback.
Of the input the City received, two-thirds of the responses favoured the option of raising the entire $60 million contribution in advance of the expected due dates for payment, so that is the option that Council chose (see Town Hall Presentation – Funding Options at right for details on the options presented). This means that a dedicated tax levy of 3.3% will begin this year and end in 2018. The intent of this option is to avoid using debt financing. The first year impact on the average residential property assessed at $347,000 will be $52.
In each future year, the dedicated levy will be reduced, factoring in assessment growth from new properties and accrued interest. The City will hold these funds in reserve until payments are required, that is, $40 million in 2016 and $20 million in 2018 or on substantial completion of each phase of construction.