It could be worse: London’s budget chair predicts 2023 property tax increase


A copy of London, Ont.'s property tax, wastewater and treatment budget for 2023. (Daryl Newcombe/CTV News London)

London’s property tax rate increase is predicted to be well below the rate of inflation this year.

“Likely to come in around 2.9, 3.0, or 3.1 [percent], we'll see,” Coun. Elizabeth Peloza told CTV News London. “There are staff recommended reductions we can take, and things we need to put in.”

An increase in that range would add $92 to $98 on the property tax bill for the average London home valued at $241,000 in 2019.

Peloza will chair budget deliberations, and anticipates the new city council will require both Thursday and Friday to complete the 2023 budget update to London’s four-year municipal budget.

There are a total of 18 budget amendments that council will consider:

Recommended by staff:

  1. Budget savings found by municipal departments (- $6,581,000)
  2. Ontario Works - reduction in required investments (- $1,030,000)
  3. Roadmap to 3,000 affordable units – portable benefits & staff (+ $1,794,000)
  4. Youth opportunity unlimited core street cleaning (+ $200,000)
  5. Cybersecurity infrastructure at city hall (+ $1,009,000)
  6. 1001 inventions exhibit (reserve funds)
  7. Land ambulance – additional resources (assessment growth funds)
  8. Changes to transportation capital growth project budgets (capital budget funds)
  9. Regeneration of public housing (future debt)

Additional for consideration:

  1. Reduction to streetlights, winter maintenance, and walkway maintenance (- $936,000)
  2. Reduction in horticulture aesthetics (- $200,000)
  3. Reduction to Neighbourhood Playground Program locations (- $250,000)
  4. Eliminate printing of council agenda materials (- $8,000)
  5. Humane Society of London & Middlesex Animal Campus ($3,000,000 reserve funds)
  6. Increase to Neighbourhood Decision Making Program (+ $250,000)
  7. Funding for the Hamilton Road BIA (+ $100,000)
  8. Reduction to previously approved infrastructure gap contribution (- $950,000)
  9. Streetscape master plan for Argyle BIA (reserve fund) 

Tax rate increase versus dollar value

  •  3.9% — $122 (No amendments)
  •  3.2% — $100 (Staff amendments)
  •  2.9% — $92 (All amendments)

The budget update will be finalized on Feb. 14.

Peloza added that the four-year budget process has provided financial flexibility to city hall during uncertain economic times.

“It gives us the opportunity to pull things forward or push them back as other government funding becomes available," she said.