Kingston, Ont., city council opens 2023 budget talks


Posted February 27, 2023 10:32 pm 1:42 Kingston, Ont., council opens 2023 budget talks WATCH: Monday night’s meeting of Kingston City Council marked the first of three days cordoned off for budgetary talks with a very fresh faced council group. The first of three days of budget talks for the City of Kingston began Monday night, with eight new faces on council. New councillors Wendy Stephen and Brandon Tozzo say they’re up for the challenge.“They’re fresh eyes. I think political turnover and fresh faces are new in any political body. I’m excited that we have eight fresh faces to look at these new problems and come up with new solutions,” said Tozzo, councillor for Kingscourt-Rideau district.“People bring different perspectives and notice different things, we have people who are excellent with spreadsheets, other people who think about big picture budget, other people who think about social issues, so I think that we’re bringing to this budget a lot of different areas of expertise,” added Stephen, who represents the Lakeside district. Trending Now Story continues below advertisement This first meeting was mostly preliminary and featured presentations from many of the city’s community partners like KFL&A Public Health, Utilities Kingston and the Cataraqui Conservation Authority.The issue that was top of mind for many is the proposed 3 per cent municipal tax increase, which would include 0.7 per cent to account for the end of the social services relief funding from the province.“I think that this tax increase is as minimal as it can be in order to maintain the services that people have come to expect and the quality here at the City of Kingston,” said Stephen of the proposed increase.While the tax increase during a time like this may not be welcome news, Tozzo and Stephen said that inflation and housing costs are a few of their primary focuses, among other things.“I’m really looking at what kind of investments that we plan on making in climate change and investments in housing,” said Tozzo.This comes on the heels of council making a commitment to build 8,000 residential units in the next eight years under the province’s “More Homes Built Faster” bill.Council budgetary deliberations will pick back up on Tuesday night. &copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc. Sponsored content Flyers

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