Edit: never mind, I realized I can't take the time required to research these or read any of the docs. I'd be happy to give you my 'stabs' ... e.g., ix-nay on the rebates, things that require overtime, and transit for fri/sat nights (at least until milton has a much larger population) ... but I won't formally vote since I don't have the time to read thru all the budget docs. Thx.
Hi MiltonLeo, Before you re-edited your post you had some questions about the details of the vacancy rebate program so just copying/pasting some answers here.
Vacancy rebate program
Property owners of vacant commercial and industrial buildings may apply for a property tax rebate under certain specifications set out in Section 364 of The Municipal Act and Ontario Regulation 325/01, amended to O.Reg. 210/05
To be eligible for a rebate, the building or section of building must have been vacant and unused for at least 90 days and the following conditions are met:
* The entire commercial or industrial building has been unused for at least 90 days.
* A suite(s) or unit(s) within a commercial building has been vacant for at least 90 consecutive days and is
o unused; and clearly delineated or physically separated from the used portions of the building; and capable of being leased for immediate occupation, or
o not capable of being leased for immediate occupancy because it is undergoing or in need of repairs/renovations or is unfit for occupation.
* A portion of an industrial building has been vacant for at least 90 consecutive days and is
o unused; and clearly delineated or physically separated from the used portions of the building.
Exclusions from rebates
No rebate applications will be considered for properties:
* where seasonal businesses operate involving closing the building for a portion of the year
* where buildings or portions of buildings are vacant but leased to a tenant
* where land is considered vacant (e.g. new buildings that have never been occupied)
I realize the budget documents are fairly large. I'm not asking every person in Milton to read the budget docs. I was just making a method for people who are interested in 'polling' their input on certain budget items that are under consideration for inclusion and/or exclusion. It would be my desire that if you are interested in taking part in these informal 'polls' that people would spend the time to read the documents (and ask questions) so as to try to make their poll votes as informed as possible.
Feel free to call me on the phone or email me directly any thoughts or topics you'd like to discuss about the budget. If possible I'm also open for meeting for coffee and I can bring my copy of the budget with me and go over it with you or anyone who's interested.
I'm a bit twisted in that I actually enjoy reading the budget documents. I went through previous years when I wasn't a councillor as well so for myself it's always been some enjoyable reading in my spare time. Now that I'm a councillor I get the added bonus that it's a responsibility.
Thanks for your input on friday/saturday night transit.
One interesting document about transit is the 2009-2013 Strategic plan for Transit services
. Our original plan had our municipal subsidy decreasing each year and our cost recovery ratio improving each year as transit revenues were forcasted to go up while transit expenditures were forecasted to remain fairly stable. I'm meeting with town Staff on Thursday afternoon to go over our current transit finances & future estimates and compare them to our previous studies to see where we're at according to our goals. Our 5 year strategic plan on Transit had some initially promising and affordable (IMHO) long term projections but now that we're part way through the 2009-2013 period we have to see if we're still projecting in the right direction.