Tue, 19 Nov 2013
On November 18, 2013, town staff presented Oakville’s proposed 2014 operating and capital budgets to the Budget Committee achieving Council's direction to keep the total property tax increase in line with inflation. Town staff recommended a 2.93 per cent increase to the town’s portion of the tax bill for an overall property tax increase of 1.3 per cent including estimated regional and education tax rates. The proposed increase would see residential property taxes increase by $11.85 per $100,000 of assessment meaning that a home assessed at $400,000 would pay an additional $47.40 per year or $0.91 per week.
“The proposed budget demonstrates accountability and responsible management of tax payer dollars,” said Mayor Rob Burton. “We delivered on our promise to keep the total property tax increase in line with inflation. Oakville’s fiscal strength will ensure the long-term sustainability of our community, our first-class facilities, as well as our outstanding programs and services.”
Staff is recommending a $296.2 million combined budget for operating and capital requirements to help maintain existing programs and services, and ensure appropriate funding to keep Oakville’s infrastructure in a state of good repair. Additional funding for road resurfacing, parks maintenance, expanded transit care-A-van services, and operation of Oakville’s newest facilities (North Operations Depot and Fire Station 9) were also highlighted in the 2014 budget overview.
“This recommended budget keeps the total property tax increase in line with inflation, invests in infrastructure renewal while also reducing debt and increasing reserves. The budget also ensures residents continue to receive the programs and services they value most,” said Budget Committee Chair Councillor Tom Adams. “I encourage residents to review the budget documents and provide feedback. These will be your tax dollars at work.”
According to the budget presentation from town Deputy Treasurer and Director of Financial Planning Nancy Sully, the 2.93 per cent increase to the town’s portion of the tax bill includes a 1.77 per cent increase for the costs of providing town programs and services, and a 1.16 per cent increase in funding for infrastructure renewal. When the town’s portion of the tax bill is combined with the estimated regional and education tax levy, it results in the proposed 1.3 per cent increase on the property tax bill.
The town’s capital budget provides funds for both the replacement of aging infrastructure and the construction of new infrastructure. Some of the top capital projects include $6.3 million for road resurfacing and preservation; $5.1 million for parks and harbours rehabilitation and development; $3.6 million for the Emerald Ash Borer management program; $2.9 million for transit buses; $2.8 for the North Service Road expansion at Ford Drive; and $2.3 million to secure lands for a future fire station in north Oakville.
Based on the Budget Committee recommendations, Council approved modest increases to rates and fees effective January 1, 2014, to help fund service delivery. Council is maintaining the current 20 per cent seniors discount on recreational memberships and programs as recommended by the Budget Committee, which is consistent with the discounts offered by the cities of Mississauga and Burlington.
The Budget Committee will meet throughout November and December to debate the proposed budget. The public is encouraged to get involved in the budget process through the following opportunities: