About 100 people attended a municipal budget consultation hosted by five inner-city councillors at Ottawa city hall. (Matthew Kupfer/CBC)
Public consultation held to ask whether residents would tolerate an extra 1% tax increase
By Matthew Kupfer, CBC News
City councillors and residents from Ottawa's five central wards spent Tuesday evening exploring the ways in which the city could spend extra tax dollars if the mayor and rest of council ever loosen their grip on the annual tax increase, currently capped at two per cent.
About 100 people attended the meeting at city hall to hear five pitches including improved winter maintenance, long-term arts funding, sustainable funding for new social services organizations, affordable housing and transitioning to cleaner energy.
Urban core councillors host budget consultation
The meeting was hosted by Rideau-Rockcliffe Coun. Tobi Nussbaum, Rideau-Vanier Coun. Mathieu Fleury, Capital Coun. David Chernushenko, Somerset Coun. Catherine McKenney and Kitchissippi Coun. Jeff Leiper.
They asked the crowd to consider paying one per cent more than they currently do in taxes — adding $14 million to city revenue and an expense of $35 per year for the average homeowner.
Green energy, new social enterprises
The most popular pitches were a $4 million capital investment in affordable housing, the renewable energy plan and supporting new social service organizations.
Janice Ashworth, general manager of the Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-op, said the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce is urging council to work on the energy transition.
She sketched out a $1.5 million plan to spend on electric car charging stations, a sustainability audit office, a tower retrofit program to improve energy efficiency and net-metering for solar energy.
"Let's take advantage of this money-making opportunity, let's stop wasting taxpayer dollars literally in smokestacks or in wasted heat from inefficient light bulbs," she said.