Council approves 2.09 per cent tax increase

OBJ Staff
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Ottawa city councillors voted unanimously Wednesday to pass a budget for 2013 that will bring the lowest tax increase for urban homeowners during Jim Watson’s term as mayor so far.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson.

The tax rate will go up by 2.09 per cent, compared to increases of 2.45 per cent in 2011 and 2.39 per cent in 2012. The higher tax rate works out to an additional $67 in municipal taxes on a property assessed at $314,500.

The rural tax rate will go up by 1.98 per cent, the equivalent of about $50 for an average home. Commercial property taxes will increase by 2.5 per cent, which works out to an additional $120 on a property worth $264,070.

The budget promises to eliminate 139 full-time positions, helping to save $3.5 million in staffing costs. It will allocate $5.5 million in new spending for infrastructure maintenance and replacement, as well as $4.9 million for new traffic control measures.

The final budget was largely unchanged from the draft that was released in October.

The city expects to bring in $2.5 billion in revenues during 2013, city staff said.

Although tax increases continue to go down under Mr. Watson’s watch, borrowing continues to rise.

Total debt was at $1.4 billion in October, according to city staff. That’s a jump of about $600 million since Mr. Watson started his current term as mayor.

Geographic location: October.The

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