Inflation for homeowners is different than the inflation experienced by the City.
Households are more likely to buy groceries while the City buys things like road materials, fleet vehicles and snowplows.
The City’s typical costs are for a very different set of goods.
Because of this, the City’s costs experience a different (and higher) level of inflation than the average consumer’s costs.
Inflation for homeowners (CPI) is not the same inflation the City experiences: we do things like maintain road materials, while households are more likely to do things like buy groceries.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) measures the annual increase in typical consumer goods like groceries, utilities, clothing and electronics, most of which is affected by the retail market.
The City’s typical costs are for a very different set of goods such as asphalt, sand, heating of large facilities and labour for all City workers such as police, firefighters, snow plow operators, bus drivers and lifeguards. As such, the City’s costs tend to experience a higher level of inflation than the average consumer costs.
The proposed property tax increase has two components. The first is a 1.6% increase proposed to cover general services and the second is a 1.5% increase proposed specifically to fund the Neighbourhood Renewal program.
When comparing the property tax increase to inflation it is appropriate to compare to the 3.8% proposed increase for general services. The Neighbourhood Renewal program is ongoing and reflects a city-wide commitment to maintain and enhance the sidewalks, streets and lamps that connect us to our homes and places of work and play.