COUNCILLOR GURPREET DHILLON DEMANDS FAIRNESS FOR TAXPAYERS, ASKS FOR CUTS TO LUXURIES IN BUDGET
BRAMPTON, ON – This past Wednesday at its Special Budget Meeting, Brampton City Council approved an overall tax increase of 1.5% to its 2017 annual budget, where taxpayers will see a total 2.3% increase on their tax bill next year when including Peel Region and Education taxes.
Despite the increase, which would go towards improving transit, fire services, as well as repairing roads and bridges, Councillor Dhillon expressed his disappointment that the tax increase should have been lower.
Councillor Dhillon stated that “lollipops” were used by some Council colleagues, such as the last minute walk-on motion to reduce Councillor expense accounts by $20,000, to distract from glaring costs in the budget, including parts of the $1.5 million Brampton Beast bailout and $500,000 cost of recent Council salary raises.
“I am disappointed that my colleagues who praised reducing their expense accounts as showing fiscal restraint, also supported giving taxpayer money to a privately owned hockey team and raising their own salaries.”, said Councillor Dhillon. “As Councillors we must set an example for our residents, and spend their money wisely”.
During the budget meeting, Councillor Dhillon also presented a motion to eliminate a $200,000 expense for a City Hall gym, which was delayed to January for further discussion, as well as a request to cancel a Council office move from the 4th to 6th floor, which did not pass.
“The lack of clarity and long-term planning in place to make this move,” said Councillor Dhillon, “could eventually put taxpayers on the hook for millions in future costs.”
“Personal luxuries should not come at the expense of our hard-working residents.”