Brown: “Taxes skyrocket if Peel is dissolved”

TORONTO – The dissolution of the Region of Peel would have serious financial consequences for a series of municipalities: this is what emerges from a Deloitte report released by the mayor of Brampton, Patrick Brown (in the pic above, from Twitter X – @CityBrampton), according to which if Peel were dissolved, property taxes would increase by 17% in Mississauga, 34% in Brampton and 256% in Caledon. For Brampton in particular, if the city became an independent municipality it would have a budget hole of almost $72 million each year. “And taxes are going to skyrocket,” Brown told CityNews

This led to a clash between the mayors of Peel Region. Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie, who is leaving office after winning the Ontario Liberal leadership, is pushing for Peel’s dissolution to go ahead, and talks of “smoke to create chaos and sow doubt. I ask Mayor Brown to stop the politics and allow his staff and ours to continue with the good work they are doing. There is a process well underway that needs to continue” she said, adding that Mississauga subsidizes Peel by more than 60 per cent now for 50 years and that Brown “needs to get his financial act in order. I think he’s afraid that opening his books could reveal a much bigger financial problem for Brampton taxpayers. Nobody wants to see taxes in none of our cities will skyrocket because of the dissolution. We can get a good outcome for everyone if we let the process continue” Crombie said.

But Caledon Mayor Annette Groves has also urged the Province to reconsider its plan to break up the Region of Peel. And Peel’s interim medical officer of health, Dr Kate Bingham, also expressed concern about the dissolution at a recent council meeting. “My professional opinion is that it cannot be done without significant risk to the community, and certainly not without significant disruption in the current timeline” she said.

The same doubts seem to grip Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives: Municipal Affairs Minister Paul Calandra said the provincial government is still evaluating whether to proceed with the split. “I haven’t made any decisions” he said last Wednesday.

Peel is scheduled to dissolve in January 2025. That means Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon would likely have to cut services, raise taxes significantly, or both, to make up the deficit just before the 2026 provincial election. “There is no way this government is letting property owners shoulder a burden they couldn’t afford” Calandra added.

Brown, in turn, said he believes the Province is listening. “I understand they were shocked by the potential tax increases and reductions in service levels. And so I believe that the barrage of evidence that is being presented to the Province is having resonance”. And he guarantees that he will continue to fight until they take back the decision, adding “it is never the wrong time to do the right thing”.