Property taxes have recently been under the spotlight in St. Catharines as costs continue to rise.

In response to the comments and concerns raised by members of the community regarding property taxes in St. Catharines, Mayor Mat Siscoe will be presenting a motion at the City Council meeting being held Monday, July 24, that will help fund future property tax mitigation measures.

Mayor Siscoe’s motion proposes using savings from hiring delays across the corporation to fund a reserve to be used to mitigate future tax increases on residents, and support tax mitigation programs including the Older Adults Tax Increase deferral program currently before the Budget Committee.

Mayor Siscoe is calling for the support of all councillors for this motion to respond to concerns raised by residents and to provide the City with options to place downward pressure on property taxes in the future.

“I have heard directly from residents, as have other members of City Council, regarding their frustration about the property tax increases at both the City and the Region,” Siscoe said. “We cannot avoid the reality of high inflation rates and the cost of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic challenges they have created for the City, but I believe everyone recognizes the need to support residents. My motion provides funding for a real taxpayer relief program that has been very positively
received by members of the Budget Committee and the community at large.”

The Deferral program, currently being designed by City staff, will be presented at a Budget meeting in the near future. It is expected to allow low-income Seniors to ‘lock in’ the City portion of their taxes, deferring payment on the added portions until such time as the home is sold. This would allow those residents the peace of mind of having a consistent, unvarying City tax portion from year-to-year and would provide predictability in a time when many other household expenses continue to rise.

Council will also be voting on a reconsideration of the City budget on Monday night.

According to their media release they say: Reconsideration of the Budget would cause uncertainty and instability in the financial health of the City, and fails to address the real issue at hand – providing financial relief for our most vulnerable residents. A reconsideration motion would result in no reduction of property taxes but could also result in significant cuts to critical services at the City,
which could ultimately lead to compromised public safety.

Residents are encouraged to reach out to their Councilors or the Mayor’s office if they
have further questions about the motions on Monday night.

Let us know what you think!