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Published on Wednesday, November 22, 2017

2018 Town budget review begins

Oakville 2018 budget proposes 1.94 per cent total property tax hike

2018 Town budget review begins
Oakville Beaver file photo
Ward 6 Town Councillor and 2018 Budget Committee Chair Tom Adams
By David Lea Oakville Beaver

Oakville homeowners can expect a 1.94 per cent hike to their property tax bill - if the Town’s proposed budget gets approved Dec. 18.

The 2018 Oakville budget committee is actually eyeing a 3.04 per cent total increase to the Town of Oakville portion of the overall property tax bill.

However, the 3.04 per cent increase will be reduced to a 1.9 per cent overall hike once the town’s increase is combined with a proposed 1.9 per cent increase in Halton Region taxes and an expected zero per cent hike in education rates.

It would still leave the Oakville budget however going up by 3.04 per cent over last year's Town budget.

Town staff presented the budget committee with an overview of the proposed budget during a Tuesday (Nov. 21) meeting.

Should the budget be approved and its effect mitigated by regional and school board taxes, the 1.9 per cent resultant increase would see residential property taxes go up by $15.47 per $100,000 of assessment, meaning the owner of a home assessed at $800,000 would pay an additional $123.76 per year or $2.38 per week on next year's tax bill.

The Town’s deputy treasurer and director of financial planning Nancy Sully said the budget is in keeping with the committee’s direction of keeping overall property tax increases in line with inflation.

“Our budget ensures the programs and services that are valued by our residents and the town’s strong financial position is maintained,” said Sully.

“It also ensures sufficient funding for infrastructure renewal and accommodates new growth in our parks and roads.”

Town staff are recommending a $321.5 million operating budget.

The proposed budget breakdown includes: 11 per cent spent on emergency services; 11 per cent for infrastructure maintenance; 11 per cent for Oakville Transit; 11 per cent for recreation services; seven per cent for Parks and Open Space; 23 per cent for corporate revenue and expenses; and three per cent for the Oakville Public Library.

The budget includes funding for the opening of the new Trafalgar Park Community Centre (Oakville Arena redevelopment) in fall 2018 and the expansion of enforcement hours for bylaw services.

Town staff are also recommending a capital budget of $128 million.

Some of the main projects for 2018 include:

• $21.1 million to complete the Trafalgar Park/Oakville Arena revitalization project;

• $10.8 million to start construction on the South East Community Centre (as part of the Former Hospital Site Project);

• $9.6 million for the town’s Road Resurfacing and Preservation Program;

• $7.1 million for road maintenance work along Speers Road between the Bronte GO Station and Fourth Line;

• $4.9 million for road maintenance work along Sixth Line between Threshing Mill Road and Dundas Street;

• $4.6 million for Kerr Street widening and grade separation;

• $3.9 million for new dockage for the Bronte Outer Harbour;

• $3.7 million for the Emerald Ash Borer Management Program;

• $2.7 million for replacement buses;

• $2.7 million to purchase land for the new Fire Station #9 in the Burnhamthorpe Road and Sixth Line area;

• $2.6 million for a new library branch in North Oakville.

The town will be looking for $187.7 million from the tax levy.

The annual budget process also includes the budget committee’s review of the Town’s rates and fees for programs and services offered to the community and the estimated costs of administering and enforcing the Building Code Act and Planning Act.

Town staff said the majority of the proposed changes to the 2018 rates and fees are in line with inflation.

Town staff said the proposed budget takes into account the impact of the province’s minimum wage increase to $14 (up from $11.60), coming into effect Jan. 1, 2018.

The town’s Parks and Open Space and Recreation and Culture departments are significantly impacted by the increase and the town is adjusting the budgets to recognize the higher pay levels.

“Council continues to work to build fiscally responsible budgets that make strategic investments in our community, while maintaining services for our residents. Our decisions will be made in the context of keeping overall tax increases in line with inflation,” said Ward 6 Coun. and budget committee chair Tom Adams in a press release.

“The budget committee will be reviewing the budget over the next few weeks before making a recommendation for council consideration on Dec. 18. I encourage residents to get involved by providing feedback to us on the proposed budget during our open and public process.”

The town will be holding budget open houses on Saturday (Nov. 25) at the Queen Elizabeth Park Community and Cultural Centre, 2302 Bridge Rd., from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. (main lobby), and on Tuesday (Dec. 5) at Iroquois Ridge Library, 1051 Glenashton Dr., from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Public delegations to the budget committee will take place at town hall Tuesday (Nov. 28) at 9:30 a.m. and Thursday (Nov. 30) at 7 p.m.

Budget committee deliberations and recommendations will take place on Tuesday (Dec. 12) at town hall at 9:30 a.m.

The budget will go before council for final approval on Monday (Dec. 18) at town hall at 7 p.m.

For more information, visit www.oakville.ca

Oakville Town Hall is located at 1225 Trafalgar Rd.
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Author: Mayor Rob Burton

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