At this evening’s budget committee meeting, Council directed staff to undertake 2018 budget preparations with tax levy increase guidance of 2 per cent.
The budget guidance provided tonight is below the average target of many other regional and municipal governments in Ontario.
When broken down, this guidance corresponds to a 1.5 per cent increase for the Region’s operating budget, and .5 per cent increase earmarked for the 2021 Canada Summer Games.
The approved budget guidance of 2 per cent also applies to the Region’s rate programs of Water and Waste Water and Waste Management.
For the average homeowner with a property valued by MPAC at $248,200, a 2 per cent increase on the Regional portion of their property taxes would equal approximately $29 annually. The average homeowner in Niagara currently pays about $1,461* in Regional property taxes each year.
Regional staff will now spend the next several months developing budget options for council's consideration and approval. These options will be presented to Council in the fall when the budget review committee resumes deliberations.
"The two per cent budget guidance passed tonight by council is a prudent decision that will continue to keep Regional property taxes as low as possible, while ensuring we can make required investments across the region. The 2018 budget provides the important resources to move strategic projects across the finish line and drive economy prosperity, while we ensure that affordability for residents remains a top priority. "
~ Regional Chair, Alan Caslin
"As Chair of the Budget Review Committee, this 2% guidance demonstrates how taxpayer affordability continues to be top-of-mind for both Regional Councillors and staff. I look forward to the fall’s budget deliberations and ensuring proper public scrutiny on resource levels for our lines of business. "
~ David Barrick, Budget Review Committee Chair
Daryl Barnhart, APR