Budget Committee recommends 6.55% increase to town portion of tax bill

Recommendation means 2.9% increase to total property tax

Achieving Council direction to keep the total property tax increase in line with inflation, Oakville’s 2012 Budget Committee recommended a 6.55 per cent increase to the town’s portion of the tax bill for an overall property tax increase of 2.9 per cent. This means an average home assessed at $400,000 will pay an additional $112 per year or $2.15 per week. Council will consider the recommendation on Monday, March 5.

“We’re in a strong financial position and have healthy reserves because we’re controlling costs. We have preserved services and have added no new debt,” said Oakville Mayor Rob Burton. “This budget ensures the long-term financial sustainability of our community and offers exceptional value for taxpayer dollars.”

The costs driving up the town’s $239 million operating budget by 6.55 per cent are: inflationary pressures (3.55 per cent), incurred costs of operating and maintaining new facilities (2 per cent), and costs associated with infrastructure renewal (2.1 per cent). These costs are partly offset by assessment growth of 1.15 per cent resulting in the 6.55 per cent increase to the town’s portion of the tax bill. When the town’s portion of the tax bill is combined with the regional and education tax levy, it results in the proposed 2.9 per cent increase on the overall property tax bill.

The Budget Committee recommended a $39.4 million transfer to reserves and capital budgets to fund infrastructure renewal. This reflects 2012 amortization expenses estimated at $39.5 million. According to Nancy Sully, deputy treasurer and director of Financial Planning and Policy, these transfers help to maintain the town’s infrastructure in a state of good repair.

“Unlike other municipalities, Oakville is renewing its infrastructure at the same rate as it depreciates,” said Budget Chair Councillor Tom Adams. “We’re being proactive. We’re not mortgaging the future of our town by postponing the maintenance of our infrastructure. We are also in a good position to meet our goal of keeping overall tax increases in line with inflation or less for 2013 and 2014.”

Some of the top capital projects influencing this year’s budget are: $10.1 million for the expansion of Oakville’s road capacity to keep cars and buses moving; $6 million for a new maintenance and operations facility in north Oakville including an interim fire station; $4.8 million for road resurfacing; and $1.5 million to battle the Emerald Ash Borer infestation. The proposed increase also includes previous financial commitments for road pavement improvements, parks maintenance and operating the new Queen Elizabeth Park Community and Cultural Centre.

Over the past two weeks, the Budget Committee heard from public delegations requesting both funding increases and decreases to various town programs and services. Oakville Transit was a hot topic for delegations with many suggesting service reductions to cut costs.

The Budget Committee recommended various transit adjustments including modified routes and reduced evening service that would result in a savings of $79,000 in 2012 with an annualized impact of $158,000. According to Barry Cole, director of Oakville Transit, the route changes are also expected to improve transit ridership and efficiency.

A further $63,500 in service efficiency reductions is also being recommended. The Budget Committee did not recommend closing the greenhouse or reducing bulk leaf collection.

Residents who wish to appear before Council as a delegate at the March 5 meeting should register at townclerk@oakville.ca or call 905-815-6015. For more information visit the 2012 Budget page.

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Media contacts

Nancy Sully
Deputy Treasurer and Director of Financial Planning
905-845-6601, ext. 3143
nsully@oakville.ca

Janine Ivings
Online Communications Advisor
905-845-6601, ext. 3005
jivings@oakville.ca


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Budget Committee recommends 6.55% increase to town portion of tax bill