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POLL: Taxes, fiscal management top issue for Newmarket voters

Nearly half of the 647 local respondents to a NewmarketToday poll indicated they are concerned about the cost of living and potential tax hikes
20220620-Newmarket town office-JQ
The Newmarket municipal office.

Taxes and fiscal management are top priorities for Newmarket voters as they head into a municipal election in the fall, according to a NewmarketToday poll. 

The poll found that 49.93 per cent rated it as their top issue for the October election, more than 24 per cent higher than any other single response. 

With the voting period approaching, we asked our readers: What do you feel is the most important issue in the Oct. 24 municipal election?

The full results are as follows:

Development — I want a council I can trust to guide future residential and business projects in Newmarket. 25.35 % local, 24.90 % total    
Taxes/fiscal management — I'm concerned about the rising cost of living and I don't want to see significant residential tax increases. 49.92 % local, 49.93 % total    
Roads — I want roads to be in good repair and work on them to be as undisruptive as possible. 7.42 % local, 7.93 % total    
Equity and inclusion — The new council needs to take strong action toward equality. 2.78 % local, 2.92 % total    
Services — I want to see changes/improvements to Newmarket's services and community facilities. 5.41 % local, 5.29 % total    
My most important issue is specific/not listed here. (Please comment below.) 8.96 % local, 9.04 % total    
  Local   Total

The poll ran from Sept. 13 to 20. Of the 719 votes, we can determine that 647 are from within the community. The margin of error is +/- 3.64%, 19 times out of 20.

Newmarket residents expressed concern about taxes and fiscal management, the top rated response at approximately 50 per cent of the vote. Mayor John Taylor predicted that the town would have challenging financial times ahead, due to higher rates of inflation. One of the first things the newly elected council will do is work toward approving next year's budget.

But development also rated of high importance, with approximately 25 per cent of the vote. Area residents expressed plenty of concern about proposed housing developments over the last term.

Part of the issue is about the best way to address the housing affordability crisis, with both the town and York Region trying to increase housing supply. 

"My main concern is housing!" one respondent commented. "Our city, province and country are all experiencing a lack of affordable housing! This is dragging the entire population base down, and our quality of life is suffering greatly. I urge council to do whatever is possible to improve the situation."

Other issues also garnered votes, with nine per cent of respondents indicating the poll did not reflect their top concern. Comments raised problems like climate change and homelessness.

"In the winter during the day the homeless are left to wander the streets in cold temperatures. Not acceptable. People need to understand how important to a community affordable housing is," one comment said.

Roads came in fourth with 7.42 per cent of poll voters rating it as a chief concern. 

Service improvements and equity fell lower on the list, garnering 5.24 per cent and 2.92 per cent of the vote, respectively.

NewmarketToday will be interviewing municipal candidates about top issues and more. You can see full election coverage, including candidate profiles, at