The Premier of Ontario has declared a province-wide state of emergency and issued a stay-at-home order in response to rising COVID-19 variant infection rates.
Tue, 22 Dec 2020
Last night, Town Council unanimously approved the 2021 operating budget of $348.3 million and capital budget of $80.9 million, to deliver the town services that residents and businesses value. The budget invests in a number of Council-approved strategic priorities, while ensuring the town’s long-term fiscal sustainability.
The combined operating and capital budgets results in a 2.29 per cent increase to the town’s portion of the tax bill, for an overall property tax increase of 1.63 per cent when combined with the estimated regional and educational tax levies. The 1.63 per cent increase would see residential property taxes increase by $11.57 per $100,000 of assessment meaning that the owner of a home assessed at $800,000 would pay an additional $92.59 per year or $1.78 per week.
“Yesterday’s approval of the 2021 Budget represents our commitment in keeping Oakville as one of the most livable and fiscally healthy communities in Canada,” said Mayor Rob Burton. “The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many challenges, and town staff and Council have worked together to create a fiscally responsible budget that is in line with inflation. I’d like to thank everyone for their dedication and hard work in order to help move the town forward during the pandemic.”
Based on assumptions of how the COVID-19 pandemic may continue to affect operations, staff project that the impact on program budgets is in the range of $17 million, particularly in transit, recreation, parking and sport field rental revenues.
To help mitigate the impact of COVID-19, Council approved one-time budget reductions of approximately $10 million. The budget reductions are a temporary move in light of the service delivery constraints expected in 2021 as a result of the ongoing pandemic. In addition, in order to meet Council’s direction to keep the overall tax increase in line with inflation, a transfer from the Tax Stabilization reserve of $3.4 million has been used.
Aligning with the town’s 2019-2022 Strategic Plan, key priorities in the 2021 Budget include full year funding for the operation of the new Oakville Trafalgar Community Centre, Fire Station 8 near Dundas Street and Bronte Road, opening of various new parks, parkettes and trails, as well as new software enhancements related to online services.
“Developing an annual budget always has its challenges, but this year proved to be exceptional due to the financial impacts stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Ward 6 Councillor and Budget Committee Chair Tom Adams. “We have had to navigate changes and adjust course, but were able to meet all of Council’s guidelines while identifying solutions with the best interest of our residents in mind. Public input was a very important part of the budget process and it was important to work together to provide stability to the community even as we adapt to the challenges before us.”
Throughout the year, the town promoted a number of opportunities to encourage public engagement and received resident input into the 2021 budget through virtual meetings and a virtual open house.
For more information on the 2021 Budget and to view all final budget documents, please visit our 2021 Budget page.