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Thinking about next year’s property taxes? Here’s what you need to know


Expect to see a 4.5 per cent hike in your property taxes in 2024.

Yep, 4.5 per cent is where we started back in July and it looks like where we’ll finish, despite nearly five months of meetings and consultations.

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That will amount to about $275 a year more in taxes for the average household. Or, if you're not so average, $34.22 per $100,000 of property assessment.

Here's the abbreviated version of how we got here:

Following direction from the mayor, town staff built a 2024 budget that could be funded with a 4.5 increase in residential property taxes.

But thanks to higher-than-expected property assessments (the benefit of all those new taxpayers who have moved to town), the increase dropped to 4.2 per cent with the arrival of the draft budget.

That drop gave town councillors hope that there might be spending room for some new pet projects, including $2.6 million to clear those unpopular mounds of snow known as windrows that town snowplows dump at the end of driveways.

Read more: With tax hike coming, should town spend extra $2 million?

Alas, that hope was dashed by the Halton Police. Last month, the police services board – which is chaired by Oakville councillor Jeff Knoll – unanimously approved a 2024 budget with a spending increase of 9.5 per cent.

While Halton Region (which is funded by Oakville, Burlington, Milton and Halton Hills taxpayers) picks up the tab for policing, it has almost no control over the cops’ bottom line.

So, thanks to the extra police spending, the region’s 2024 budget is now expected to result in a 5.1 per cent tax increase. When all the numbers are crunched, the town will need to cut its draft budget by about $1.7 million to keep the overall residential tax increase to 4.5 per cent tax increase.

But Mayor Rob Burton, who ultimately has control over the budget thanks to his provincial anointment as a "strong mayor," has said he will find those cuts.

He may even find a way to bring a few of those new pet projects into the budget he presents to council on Nov. 20.

There will be a chance for the public to comment on his budget before council is scheduled to officially adopt it on Dec. 20.

Electric buses don’t come cheap

Fifteen cents of every property tax dollar you pay next year will go toward Oakville Transit.

Town of Oakville
Town of Oakville

In 2024, taxpayers will shell out $40.1 million for the town’s bus service – a jump of 19 per cent over 2023 – as bills for expensive new electric buses and infrastructure begin to come due.

Over the next 20 years, the town will spend more than $100 million to install, operate and maintain the charging infrastructure for new battery-electric buses. The cost to purchase a full-size electric bus has also jumped from about $1 million to about $1.6 million in recent years.

Read more: Electric buses cost millions more than budgeted

Oakville Transit revenue has also taken a hit, with adult ridership still not fully returned to pre-pandemic levels. On an 8-7 vote during last year’s budget process, council opted to give free rides to all youths and seniors at a cost of $1.6 million next year.