Markham’s 2013 Annual Report Celebrates Outstanding Successes
Strong financials, low taxes, economic prosperity and community engagement among 2013 highlights
Markham, ON – July 9, 2014 – The City of Markham released its 2013 Annual Report, Markham in Motion, on July 4th, highlighting its many achievements in the areas of its award winning financial performance, economic prosperity, quality of life and public service excellence.
The City was identified as number one in Canada by the Frontier Centre for Public Policy for its fiscal management and transparency following a six-year cumulative record of tax rate increases below 6%; the lowest average among 25 Greater Toronto Area (GTA) municipalities.
“Our competitive tax rate and approach to fiscal management is an important element in building Markham today without mortgaging future generations. With a strong focus on the taxpayer, over the past 6 years, Markham’s continuous improvement program has achieved $15 million in expenditure reductions and revenue enhancements, avoiding a 15 per cent increase in taxes for residents. And, our Capital Reserve Program will ensure that Markham’s future is sustainable and financially ready for infrastructure refurbishment for the next 25 years,” says Mayor Frank Scarpitti.
Markham is home to 9,000 businesses and 164,000 jobs in the technology, life sciences, financial services and communications industries with a number of corporations opting for Markham to locate their head offices. This economic prosperity makes way for a high standard of living and quality of life for residents. Markham is also proud to be named Canada’s most diverse city with over 50 per cent of the population with a first language other than French or English.
These statistics are among many reported in the Annual Report in keeping with Markham’s commitment to sustainability reporting. Now in its third year of Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting, Markham remains the only municipality in Ontario to report using the Global Reporting Initiative framework and the associated key performance indicators related to sustainability.
“At Markham, we’re proving that sustainable technology solutions are good for the environment and our bottom line,” says City of Markham Chief Administrator Andy Taylor. “Our installation of 12,300 LED street lights on municipal streets has led to improved safety through road visibility, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and electricity costs by 50 per cent. We have the largest municipal solar photovoltaic system generating revenue for the municipality while greening the electricity grid, and a curbside waste diversion rate of 81 per cent; the highest of any large municipality in Canada.”
“In combination with the commitment of Council and staff Markham’s early adoption of the Excellence Canada Framework for Municipalities provided a valuable continuous improvement tool for us to help guide our efforts for efficient, cost effective services”, said Mayor Scarpitti. “We continue to set the bar high for service excellence and outstanding value to our taxpayers”.
While maintaining low tax rate increases Markham continued its strong focus on enhanced municipal services. In particular, City staff rose to the challenge of the December 2013 ice storm with an immediate response, and a strong commitment to the community during the holiday season and beyond to support the restoration efforts.
The City also made significant progress in preparing as a host city for the TO2015 Pan Am Parapan Am Games. The beautiful Markham Pan Am Centre will open later this year, and in 2015, Markham will host water polo in its 50-meter Olympic- sized pool, and badminton, table tennis and Parapan table tennis in the field house designed to international height standards. As well, for the first time, golf will be a Pan Am Games event and Markham is proud to play host.
“2013 was an outstanding year of great accomplishments, prosperity, and new opportunities,” continued CAO Taylor. “Thanks to the commitment of staff and leadership of the Mayor and council members, we lead the country in our sustainability planning and have established ourselves as leaders in municipal management and fiscal responsibility.”
A digital version of the 2013 annual report is available at: Markham 2013 Corporate Annual Report