Council unanimously approves efficient and affordable 2019 budget increase

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Oakville Town Council has unanimously approved the town’s operating and capital budgets for 2019.

With a budget theme of “efficient and affordable”, Budget Chair Town and Regional Councillor Tom Adams presented the Budget Committee's recommended small increase by pointing out that Oakville residents will only see a 1.99 per cent increase to the town’s portion of the total tax bill, well under inflation in the Toronto area of 2.5 per cent.

The overall property tax increase will only be 1.53 per cent because of the blending of the already approved regional increase of 1.9 per cent and the expected educational tax levy impact, all of which make up the total of what a home owner actually pays.

The increase would mean that residential property taxes would increase by $11.72 per $100,000 of assessment or that the owner of a home assessed at $800,000 would pay an additional $93.75 per year or $1.80 per week.

"Our 11-year trend of ever-smaller tax increases comes because we switched 11 years ago to performance-based program budgeting (PB2), like the world's leading corporations," said Mayor Rob Burton. “Our staff has delivered continuous improvement in efficiencies even as we have doubled our community facilities and seen our population grow while being required by the Province to subsidize 25 per cent of the costs of growth. It is estimated that 10 per cent of our total property tax burden goes to pay those costs of growth and provide developers with healthier profits."

For 2019, the $337.3 million operating budget will provide a wide range of programs and services including the maintenance of roads and community facilities, fire services, transit, parks and trails, recreation and culture, senior services, and libraries. Program enhancements recommended for 2019 include funding for the newly opened Trafalgar Park Community Centre, the Sixteen Mile Branch library and final phase of the Municipal Enforcement Strategy. Anticipated savings of $2.1 million are being recognized from efficiency review work undertaken in 2018 and 2019. 

The 2019 recommended capital budget sees $116.3 million of funding to support new facilities, transportation, infrastructure renewal and other elements related to growth. Some of the capital projects for 2019 include the Southeast Community Centre, the Downtown Lakeshore Reconstruction project, the Road Resurfacing and Preservation Program, the new Fire Station #8 near Pine Glen and Bronte, transit bus replacements and several parks in north Oakville. Capital funding of $250,000 for a study to replace Town Hall was deferred.

Council also approved the 2019 Rates and Fees. On average, rates and fees will increase between two and three per cent which will generate close to $1.5 million in revenue to help fund valued programs and services.

“Once again, we are addressing the needs of our community while providing the lowest overall property tax increase below the rate of inflation,” said long-time Budget Committee Chair and Ward 6 Councillor Tom Adams said. “Thank you to our residents, community leaders, partners and agencies who shared valuable input with Council.”