On Dec. 7, Regional Council approved its balanced 2018 budget of $1.1 billion, ensuring the continued delivery of high-quality program and services, as well as funding to maintain our infrastructure and assets.
As with all budgets approved by this term of council, the focus for 2018 is on balance. The budget approved last night strikes a balance between taxpayer affordability, maintaining critical services and infrastructure and making investments in strategic areas that will support a more prosperous Niagara.
Residents will see a two per cent increase on the Regional portion of their property tax bill next year. For the average household with a home assessed at $248,200, the Regional portion of their tax bill will increase by $28 in 2018, totalling $1,461 a year.
2018 Budget Highlights
The operating budget provides funding for the Region’s programs and services and pays for investments that support economic prosperity, quality of life and our natural environment. Niagara Regional staff and Council worked collaboratively in a special budget meeting to bring the budget into the 2 per cent guidance.
Some of the 2018 budget investments include:
Regional Council also approved the 2018 capital budget of $189 million to support the following significant projects:
"I am proud to say the 2018 budget strategically balances significant investments, service delivery and our responsibilities to maintain our infrastructure with affordability for residents and businesses. This budget, as with the others passed by this term of council, provides the funds needed to ensure we can meet our commitments and take advantage of opportunities while keeping property taxes as affordable as possible. I want to thank council, and our talented and professional staff, for preparing a balanced 2018 budget."
~ Alan Caslin, Regional Chair
"As Budget Chair, I believe the 2018 budget puts the affordability of our ratepayers first, while still continuing to fund the things that our residents rely on every day. Throughout this entire process, Council and staff worked diligently to ensure this budget meets the expectations of our residents for high quality services, programs and infrastructure, while always keeping Niagara's resident’s ability to pay at the forefront. I am confident that this budget will continue to move Niagara toward prosperity and am proud of the fiscal responsibility this Council term has demonstrated with an average increase of 1.48% per year. "
~ Regional Councillor, David Barrick, Budget Review Committee of the Whole Chair
"Managing a budget within an ever growing community has its opportunities and challenges. I want to thank all staff for their work in preparing the budget, and for Council’s guidance and support, as we aim to provide quality municipal services to the diverse communities we serve. "
~ Carmen D’Angelo, Chief Administrative Officer
Daryl Barnhart, APR