• Mississauga News: Mississauga to raise stormwater charges less than a year after implementation

    Mississauga News

    In the wake of rising property taxes and massive hydro bills, Mississauga Councillor Karen Ras wants to provide residents some relief by capping the city’s stormwater charge.

     “At what point do we stop the bleeding a little bit for the residents who have to pay this?” Ras said during the city’s second budget committee meeting on Tuesday.  

    Introduced at the beginning of this year, the stormwater charge, which appears on the Region of Peel water bill, ranges in price from $50 to $170 annually, depending on the rooftop size of a home. Revenues are placed in a dedicated fund and allocated to stormwater infrastructure maintenance and upgrades.

    In 2016, the billing rate per unit was $100. Staff is proposing to increase that number to $102 next year.

    “It’s been less than a year since we brought it in,” said Ras. “Isn’t it premature to ask for an increase?”

    Ras put forward a motion requesting the billing rate stay the same as it is this year, considering the 2017 budget proposes a tax increase of 5.9 per cent for the city portion of the tax bill.

    “This stormwater program is new,” said Coun. Matt Mahoney, adding residents need a chance to digest its contents before increases are approved.

    Calling the move to cap the program a form of “tokenism,” Coun. Nando Iannicca stressed the insignificance of what amounts to only a few dollars every year.

    But that does not account for the rising home insurance rates also felt by residents in areas susceptible to flooding, noted Coun. Chris Fonseca.

    Helen Noehammer, director of transit and infrastructure planning, said the $2 increase on the billing rate would give the city an additional $820,000 to make contributions to its reserve funds and create a more sustainable stormwater management system.

    The proposed 2017 budget for the stormwater program is $45.2 million.

    About $631,000 has been issued through credits and exceptions for multi-residential and non-residential properties whose stormwater practices were a direct benefit to the city’s stormwater management program.

    Ras’ motion failed, with councillors Iannicca, Carolyn Parrish, Jim Tovey, John Kovac, George Carlson and Mayor Bonnie Crombie voting it down.