Watson pledges to cap tax increases at 3%

Jim Watson
(File photo by Caroline Phillips)

With one week to go before Ottawa residents head to the polls, incumbent Mayor Jim Watson says he’ll limit property tax increases to three per cent annually if re-elected.

That’s higher than the two per cent cap that Watson, who is seeking his third consecutive mandate as mayor, pledged during his last term. In a statement, Watson said his goal of holding tax increases to between two and three per cent would allow the city to spend an additional $80 million on roads and infrastructure over the next four years.

“I have heard from residents, and I believe they are prepared to contribute more in order to have better roads and infrastructure,’’ Watson said in a statement.

Last December, eight councillors banded together to push for a further 0.5 per cent hike in the city’s 2018 tax increase to fund more infrastructure spending.

A surprise $10-million surplus scuttled the expected showdown between the councillors and Watson, allowing the mayor to keep his promise of a two per cent cap on property tax increases.