City Council as a whole does not typically rock Board of Control's boat, and Londoners will likely face an increase of just slightly more than four per cent in residential property taxes and utility charges this year as the Board recommended to Council yesterday in its review of spending in the 2008 budget. If, as administration has advised to Council, four-fifths of the City's 1.5 per cent increase in assessment growth and twelve per cent of the City's $7 million surplus revenues from last year are applied to the tax levy portion of the budget, the overall hike in tax and utility rates will be reduced to about 2.7 per cent — or the lowest rate of increase in at least five years. This may seem a respite after tax rates skyrocketed between 2004 and 2006, but it certainly does not represent a return to Londoners after those exorbitant hikes but an excuse for them. Nor is it much consolation to those property owners whose assessments have risen in concert with rate increases. Whatever the final advertised rate of increase, the Board's recommendation is for a 4 per cent increase in tax-supported spending — which is, put simply, a four per cent increase in taxes. And as Deputy Mayor Tom Gosnell noted, "not many people are getting four-per-cent wage increases."