Proposed Taxpayers' Bill of Rights 

The goal of City of Brantford Council is a rational and open tax policy.  “The citizens of the community have a right to have the free flow of information on how municipal government functions and how the taxes they pay are assigned to each function,” said Mayor Chris Friel.

Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights

WHEREAS a rational and open tax policy is the goal of municipal Council; and

WHEREAS the citizens of the community have a right to have the free flow of information on how municipal government functions, and how the taxes they pay are assigned to each function; and

WHEREAS a Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights is an effective mechanism to draw the citizens of a community into a broader public discourse on the collection and allocation of tax dollars; and

WHEREAS a Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights will assist in moving the municipality to a longer term view of tax collection and allocation; and

  • Right to answers to your tax questions
  • Right to information in clear and simple language
  • Right to access information in e-government format
  • Right to know list of services and government units
  • Right to know percentage values of taxation assigned to each unit
  • Right to know percentage values for at least the last five years
  • Right to know staffing levels
  • Right to have access to public budgeting data as raw data
  • Right to have multiple mechanisms to present to Council before and during budget process
  • Right to know that measurable values are assigned to the services provided, and that service values are in a process of constant improvement
  • Right to have two budget updates in April and early September of each year
  • Right to have access to Council's four-year strategic community plan and how percentage values are assigned to each strategy area

WHEREAS inflation and mandated government services must be identified and a percentage value tax increase be assigned to each category; and

WHEREAS increases larger than 1.5% or the rate of inflation (whichever is higher) are subject to a mandated consultation process; and

WHEREAS an increase within a four-year Council mandate of above 4% is subject to a mandated consultation process; and

WHEREAS capital increases not to exceed 1% per term without a mandated consultation process, and including an identification of capital envelopes or projects assigned to the increase; and

WHEREAS an assessment increase matrix must be created in a format easily accessible by the public;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT Council accept the introduction of a Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights and that a program of public consultation be initiated and facilitated through the Finance Committee.