A Fiscally Responsible Budget That Invests in Excellent City Of Markham Services

Feb 22, 2023

MARKHAM, ON – April 6, 2023 – Markham Council approved the City’s 2023 Budget of $669M on April 5, 2023, including a 3 per cent property tax rate increase.

This fiscally responsible budget supports the continued delivery of the high quality City services that residents have to come expect, while also making sure it supports key capital investments in facilities, infrastructure and amenities that support Markham’s strategic goals.

The 3 per cent property tax rate increase is below the rate of inflation and will mean an increase of approximately $39 in property taxes for the average residential household in Markham.

The tax rate increase includes 2.4 per cent for day-to-day operating costs and an additional 0.6 per cent infrastructure investment to ensure there are sufficient funds in City life cycle reserves to repair and replace assets for the next 25 years.

“The 2023 Markham Budget strikes the right balance between investing in important programs and services, while also keeping property taxes as low as possible in order to provide residents with relief during uncertain times,” said Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti. “Markham is a striking example of how to build a vibrant community through a model of growth paying for growth. While I support the province’s ambitious target to build 1.5M homes over 10 years, 44,000 of which are targeted for Markham, this doubling of growth needs a practical framework to deliver complete communities. If the pace of home construction is to double, then so must the pace of funding from senior levels of government for more rapid transit, schools and hospitals. Budget 2023 makes key investments in a range of areas including advancing our flood protection program, expanding the Markham Centre Trail, to replacing a major artificial turf field in east Markham.”

The City shares a commitment with other levels of government in supporting the development of new housing; however, a new long-term permanent municipal funding strategy must be developed to maintain service levels and fund critical infrastructure projects which support new growth.

Markham is an award-winning municipality, recognized for its fiscal stewardship and ability to build community amenities that ensure residents have a good quality of life. In the CD Howe Institute’s most recent annual report card on municipal budgeting, financial reporting and fiscal transparency, Markham received an A- rating, which was tied for highest among large municipalities in Ontario. Markham continues its commitment to streamline processes and implement new innovative ways to reduce operating costs, while increasing efficiencies.

Major 2023 capital investments include funding to:

  • Improve road infrastructure and enhance traffic and pedestrian safety

$100.4M for new road construction, repairs and rehabilitation, including traffic improvements such as developing a comprehensive road safety plan, pedestrian crossings, traffic signals and installation of new multi-use path crossings.

  • Build strong and resilient communities

$25.7M for Flood Control Program, which includes $14.5M for the continued construction in the West Thornhill area (Phase 4B), and $7.4M for maintenance of stormwater infrastructure to make infrastructure more resilient.

  • Make our facilities more sustainable and energy efficient

$20.4M for net-zero emissions retrofits to Centennial, Thornhill and Clatworthy community centres to support Markham's Corporate Energy Management Plan, Municipal Energy Plan, and Greenprint Sustainability Plan to transition to Net-Zero Energy Emissions (NZEE) by 2050 and reduce the City’s carbon footprint.

  • Grow our green spaces

$17.8M for parks design, construction and maintenance, including the replacement of Mount Joy’s artificial turf, intensifying the City’s tree canopy, and enhancing playground accessibility.

  • Enhance community services

$2.9M to expand Markham Public Library’s collections and e-resources to support Markham’s diverse community and membership interests.

For more detailed information on these and other investments, visit markham.ca/Budget

“Markham continues to deliver strong fiscal management by taking into consideration the City’s current and future service needs, as well as the resources that are needed to provide them,” said Budget Chief Councillor Andrew Keyes. “Council and senior staff knew it was important to deliver the lowest possible property tax rate increase to support the community. At the same time, we remain committed to providing value to our residents, while continuing to support future growth.”

“Through our Excellence through Efficiency and Effectiveness initiative (E3), we have been able to once again, successfully mitigate a significant tax rate increase,” said Budget Vice-Chair Councillor Isa Lee. “This 2023 budget also ensures we are able to maintain City operations and services so we can continue to provide quality services, programs and amenities to our residents.”

The City’s E3 cumulative savings to date have been $23.6M with revenue enhancements of $11.7M for a total of $35.3M. This equates to a total tax rate increase avoidance of 27.98 per cent, further reinforcing the steps the City of Markham has taken to manage its finances responsibly, while always actively seeking efficiencies.

Markham collects property taxes on behalf of York Region and the Province of Ontario. Residential property taxes support York Region and education with 52 per cent of all Markham taxes going to York Region. The City of Markham retains approximately 24 per cent of the taxes collected with the remaining 24 per cent going to the Province for education.

From left to right: Budget Vice-Chair and Councillor Isa Lee, Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti and Budget Chair and Councillor Andrew Keyes, present Markham’s 2023 Budget on April 6, 2023 at the Markham Civic Centre.

— 30 —

Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti's Office:
At mayorscarpitti@markham.ca.

All other media inquiries / interview requests for the City of Markham:
Kisha Powell, Media Relations & Communications Specialist at kpowell@markham.ca.

About Markham: Markham, an award-winning municipality with more than 353,000 residents and the largest of nine communities in York Region, is home to over 650 headquartered companies and more than 1,500 high tech and life science companies. Markham is a leader in attracting foreign direct investment with more than 234 foreign companies located in the City. Founded in the 1790s, today Markham is Canada’s most diverse community and enjoys a rich heritage, outstanding community planning and services, and a vibrant local economy.