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.