Skip to content

Overall property tax increase of 3.52 per cent “way below inflation,” boasts mayor

Despite soaring inflation, Oakville's robust growth helps mitigate an extreme property tax increase

Oakville residents can expect overall property taxes to rise by about 3.52 per cent in 2023, based on proposed budget documents released by the town on Tuesday.

That means you’ll pay an extra $25.78 in taxes for each $100,000 of residential assessment – or about $260 more for a house valued at $1 million.

Oakville property tax bills combine town, regional and educational taxes. And while none of the numbers are yet finalized, the expected combination of the three will amount to the 3.52 per cent tax hike that led Mayor Rob Burton to boast, “we’ll be way below inflation” in a recent Facebook posting.

“We’ve always taken great pride in being economical,” he says.

The 2023 tax increase is largely driven by inflation, with the town expecting to pay more for labour, supplies and materials, according to Jonathan van der Heiden, the town’s deputy treasurer.

In fact, inflationary impacts of about $12 million – including about $2.5 million in increased fuel costs alone – will help boost town program spending by 7.19 per cent in the coming year.

Town of Oakville
Town of Oakville

But booming growth will add about $4 million to the town’s assessment rolls in 2023, somewhat mitigating that spending.

The town will also collect an extra $2.5 million by boosting fees for programs and services. The cost of most programs will rise by 4.6 per cent, in line with inflation.

The final result is a proposed 5.43 per cent increase in town taxes.

When combined with regional taxes (estimated to increase 3.6 per cent) and educational taxes (assumed not to increase), the overall property tax increase hits 3.52 per cent.

Budget doesn't reflect the impact of Bill 23

The proposed $347.6 million operating budget and $156.8 million capital budget were presented to the town’s 2023 budget committee.

For the first time since 2009, that committee will be headed by someone other than veteran Ward 5 councillor Tom Adams.

Ward 3 councillor Janet Haslett-Theall was acclaimed as budget committee chair after her nomination by councillor Sean O’Meara.

“With council’s direction, town staff have prepared a budget that keeps property taxes below inflation while delivering on strategic priorities and maintaining high-quality amenities and services that Oakville is recognized for,” said Haslett-Theall.

“The committee now begins the important work of reviewing the recommendations, receiving further details on programs and services, and considering any adjustments or additional needs that should be reflected in this budget.”

Not reflected in the 2023 budget is the impact of Bill 23, the province’s recently approved housing legislation.

It will force the town to take on more planning roles and responsibilities while cutting its sources of revenue for funding new development.

Recent estimates suggest that the town could lose between $79 million and $237 million in development charge revenue that it relies on to build new infrastructure.

Read more: Bill 23 demands the town do more faster but with less revenue

But van der Heiden told councillors that the impact of those changes can’t be budgeted without further detail from the province and may not be felt until 2024.

Adams asked staff to provide the budget committee with a list of growth projects potentially at risk of delay or cancellation due to Bill 23.

“That would allow us to understand ourselves what the impacts would be but also to communicate to residents and to the MPPs what the possible risks are to growth, should they continue with the plan that they are unrolling right now,” he said

Upcoming budget committee meetings

  • Commissioner presentations of program budgets: Jan. 24 and Jan. 26 at 9:30 am.
  • Public delegations: Feb.14 at 9:30 am and Feb. 16 at 6:30 pm.
  • Budget committee deliberations: Feb. 21
  • Recommendations to council for approval on Feb. 27

All meetings are broadcasted on the town’s YouTube channel.

Full budget documents can be found here. Comments can be emailed to [email protected].