Windsor's Tax Freeze Has Come To An End

The City of Windsor's eight year tax freeze has come to an end.

Residents will be seeing a 1.73% tax hike on their 2017 bill amounting to $48 on a home valued at $150,000.

Windsor Mayor, Drew Dilkens, is happy with the final number as administration was recommending a 2.7% increase.

Dilkens says it was impossible to hold the line again.

"It's really a strong testament to the work done by city council and administration reflecting on the wishes of council to show them a pathway to zero. That pathway wasn't viable this year. Instead, we came in with a number that's less than the rate of inflation which, I think, is probably lower than any other municipality in Essex County and, of course, lower than many across the Province of Ontario."

He says this year there was little to nothing left to cut.

"You've seen some streamlining of services here at city hall. I think you've seen efficiencies that were found and at some point you're cutting the fat and you hit a bone and this was the year that we hit the bone and we had to deal with the fact that there are inflationary pressures that are beyond our control."

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Members of Windsor Council look through budget documents (Photo by AM800's Zander Broeckel)

Dilkens says even with a minimal increase council was able to add two programs residents have been asking for.

"City council approved providing a pathway that really allows for us to pick up couches and mattresses and those types of things at curb side. And, of course, we reinstituted the rat program. We had a number of complaints over this past year with respect to the increase in the rat population. So we were able to fund both the cat voucher and the rodent control program which, I think, responds to the requests from residents."

Residents looking to get rid of their bulk items will be charged $20 per item.

The cat spay and neuter voucher program remains the same while the rodent control program will be offered free of charge.

Council passed the 1.73% increase after a marathon session beginning Monday afternoon stretching into Tuesday morning.