Oakville releases 2012 budget discussion document

Staff recommends 3 per cent overall tax increase

Town staff presented Oakville’s proposed 2012 operating and capital budgets to the Budget Committee today, achieving Council’s direction to keep the total property tax increase in line with inflation. Town staff recommended a 6.7 per cent increase to the town’s portion of the tax bill for an overall property tax increase of 3 per cent. The proposed increase will help maintain existing programs and services, and ensure that appropriate funding is allocated to keep Oakville’s infrastructure in a state of good repair. Additional funding for road pavement improvements, parks maintenance and operating the new Queen Elizabeth Park Community and Cultural Centre was also highlighted.

“This budget reflects the goals and objectives of Council’s comprehensive four-year work plan developed to ensure the long-term financial sustainability of our community,” said Mayor Rob Burton. “This is a responsible budget that focuses on living within our means. This Council is committed to controlling growth, resolving our facilities deficit and offering good value for your tax dollar, not cutting the programs and services valued by our tax payers.”

Staff is recommending a $282 million combined budget for operating and capital requirements. The proposed 3 per cent overall tax increase would see residential property taxes increase by $29 per $100,000 of assessment. A home assessed at $400,000 will pay an additional $115 per year or $2.21 per week.

“The Town of Oakville is in a very good financial position. We have healthy reserves and have avoided excessive debt. I’m pleased that the recommended budget keeps the total property tax increase to the rate of inflation, avoids major service cuts and includes no new debt,” said Budget Committee Chair Councillor Tom Adams. “We’re committed to safeguarding Oakville’s debt level so we can strategically and appropriately plan for the future.”

According to the budget presentation from town Deputy Treasurer and Director of Financial Planning Nancy Sully, the costs driving the town’s 2012 budget are: inflationary pressures (3.7 per cent), incurred costs of operating and maintaining new facilities (2 per cent), and the costs associated with infrastructure growth and renewal (2.1 per cent). These costs drive the town’s portion of the tax bill up by 6.7 per cent after assessment growth of 1.15 per cent. When the town’s portion of the tax bill is combined with the regional and education tax levy, it results in the proposed 3 per cent increase on the property tax bill.

The town’s capital budget sets aside funds for both the replacement of aging infrastructure and the construction of new infrastructure. Some of the top capital projects include $10.1 million for the expansion of Oakville’s road capacity; $6 million for a new maintenance and operations facility in north Oakville including an interim fire station; $4.8 million for road rehabilitation; and $1.5 million to battle the Emerald Ash Borer infestation.

“This budget balances the needs of our community while maintaining Council’s commitment to fiscal responsibility,” explained Sully. “Our pre-budget consultation shows that the public is willing to accept moderate tax increases to maintain valued town services, but they want to know that their tax dollars are being spent wisely. Our program-based, performance-based budgeting will help to demonstrate our accountability for effective and efficient program spending.”

Sully also indicated that staff has identified some potential savings from those areas where the town provides enhanced levels of services in comparison to other municipalities should the Budget Committee want to reduce the tax levy even further. “Town commissioners will provide more information on these opportunities at the next Budget Committee meeting scheduled for January 19, 2012.”

The Budget Committee will meet throughout January and February to debate the proposed budget. The public is encouraged to get involved in the budget process through the following opportunities:

Commission budget presentations on January 19 and 20 (as required)
Budget open houses on January 18 at Glen Abby Library, January 24 at Woodside Library and January 26 at Town Hall
Twitter Budget Question and Answer session on January 30
Public delegations on February 2 and 7
Budget deliberations on February 9 and 14 (as required)
Final budget approval by Council on March 5

The 2012 Budget Committee will consider all submissions, whether in person, writing, email or online as part of their budget deliberations. Residents who wish to appear before the Budget Committee as a delegate should register at townclerk@oakville.ca or call 905-815-6015. Written comments for the committee can be sent to:

Town Clerk
Town of Oakville
1225 Trafalgar Road
Oakville, ON L6H 0H3

Alternately, residents can email their comments to budget2012@oakville.ca.

All Budget Committee meetings are held at Town Hall, 1225 Trafalgar Road and are open to the public. For those who cannot attend the meetings in person, they will be streamed live on TownTV. To view the 2012 Budget Book or for more information about opportunities to get involved in the budget process visit the 2012 Budget page or email budget2012@oakville.ca.

Two members of the Oakville Budget Committee, Mayor Burton and Councillor Adams, also served on the Halton Budget Review Committee. The regional budget was approved in December 2011.

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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
Senior Communications Advisor
Corporate Communications
905-845-6601, ext. 3005
jivings@oakville.ca


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Original source: 

Oakville releases 2012 budget discussion document