Oakville has a reputation for being a “rich” town, but that isn’t the experience I hear from residents. Affordability is a real issue that effects many people’s lives. Parents have little hope their adult children can work and live in the community in which they were raised. And many seniors who raised their families in Oakville are forced to leave the community they love because they can’t afford to live here.
That’s why I’m deeply concerned with Mayor Burton’s 12-year record of increasing property taxes.
12-Year Record of Tax Increases
Oakville’s current Mayor has a perfect record of increasing residential property taxes, significantly above the rate of inflation, every year he has been in power.
Property Tax Increase
Retired couple Dave and Lotti are concerned about affordability and have a question for Mayor Burton.
+64% Cumulative Property Tax Increase
Oakville’s residential tax rates have shown a compounded increase of 64% between 2006 and 2017 alone. That’s more than 3X the rate of inflation.
Restoring Responsible Fiscal Management to Oakville
Tax fairness is at the heart of a healthy, caring community. Thus, while the Town of Oakville provides vital services, infrastructure and programs that residents need and want, politicians have to be as careful with the town’s finances as they would be with their own. Oakville residents are already some of the most aggressively taxed in North America. That’s why, as Mayor I will initiate a review of town spending, I will work to keep Town operating spending within its existing tax revenue, and I will vote against property tax increases above the rate of inflation. I also refuse to entertain any discussion of a land transfer tax. Those are my commitments. Of course, if unanticipated circumstances occur, such as a major new investment (like the hospital) or downloading from other levels of government, I will initiate broad discussion before any exceptions are made.
Plugging Oakville’s Youth Brain Drain
The presence of young people and young families is a sign of a healthy, growing community. As a larger percentage of our population reaches retirement, attracting young people has become an increasingly urgent priority for municipalities across Canada. Unfortunately, Oakville is experiencing a Youth Brain Drain. Parents have little hope their adult children can work and live in the community in which they were raised. As Mayor, I am committed to a vibrant and flourishing community that will enable more of our adult children to stay in Oakville. I will:
- Attract good jobs to Oakville by championing economic development that attracts professional, high tech, office employers and businesses to Oakville.
- Demand a full review of the exceedingly onerous regulations and fees that discourage existing Oakville businesses from expanding and creating more jobs.
- Work with Council and Town procurement to stop small entrepreneurial companies from being shut out of Town business, and enable them to compete on equal footing with major multi-nationals.
- Ensure a collective benefit agreement is in place with the provincial government for the new Provincial Courthouse being built in Oakville that maximizes economic benefits for Oakville job seekers.
Enabling Seniors to Stay in Oakville
Seniors who raised their families in Oakville shouldn’t be forced to leave the community they love because they can’t afford to live here when they downsize. I believe in an Oakville that is affordable for young and old, allowing families to live, work and enjoy retirement in the same community. As Mayor, I will task the planning and budget committees to consider the impact of town fees and levies on the affordability for seniors and youth, and to recommend initiatives to improve livability for seniors in our town. I am also committed to ensuring Oakville planning includes a variety of housing options to better meet the needs of youth and seniors.
See Julia’s Better Together Action Plan for Oakville here.