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A Bailout for Hamilton
Ontario is giving Hamilton a $15.1 million bailout that will hold this year's property tax increase to an average of 3.6 per cent.

That translates into an increase of $108 in combined city and education taxes on a house assessed at $176,000.

But municipal treasurer Joe Rinaldo says the increase would only have been 2.9 per cent if the province had come through with the full $19.5 million requested.

Mayor Larry Di Ianni says the city should be "appropriately appreciative" of the provincial aid, even though it is only three-quarters of what's needed to offset the cost of downloaded social services.

Premier Dalton McGuinty's provincial Liberal government announced the long-awaited help early yesterday afternoon, as city council continued to wrestle with its 2005 spending plans.

Councillors praised the mayor for lobbying the province to repeat last year's $19.5 million contribution, described then as one-time assistance.

Di Ianni also credited the efforts of Tom Cooper of McQuesten Legal & Community Services, the Hamilton Civic Coalition led by McMaster University president Peter George and Marie Bountrogianni, Hamilton Mountain MPP and minister of children's services, citizenship and immigration. Source.

April 4, 2005