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Residents Make Appeal Over Tax Increase

Niagara Falls city council told business and homeowners can't take anymore increases

An appeal to Niagara Falls city council that it reconsider the latest increase to property taxes.

Resident Frances Cortese presented a 326 name petition Tuesday night, calling for a 0% increase for next year.

She stressed the latest increase in water services and property taxes hit hard.  "We have taken away from a large majority of people any disposal income that they might have had.  I believe I can safely say that our mental health problems will continue to escalate, as more people have lost and are on the brink of losing their homes and rental apartments."

City Chief Administrative Officer Jason Burgess explained 40-percent of a budget is emergency services, which they can't touch.

He added debt payment and road clearing to that, all while fighting inflation.

"Our inflationary increase in taxes, or if you look at our taxes over the last 10 years, taxes in the City of Niagara Falls went up less than what the price of a Big Mac went up in the same time period.  If we come in at 3.5%, that's going to be lower than our inflationary pressure."

Mayor Jim Diodati added a big problem is size of government, such as regional council, and he encouraged everyone to pressure the provincial government to change that.

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