Oakville staff recommends tax increase for 2020

Published November 22, 2019 at 1:37 pm

Staff has presented Oakville’s proposed 2020 operating and capital budgets to the Budget Committee.

Staff has presented Oakville’s proposed 2020 operating and capital budgets to the Budget Committee.

Council says they’ve been able to achieve their goal of keeping the tax increase in line with inflation.

“Staff recommended a budget that results in a 3.08 per cent increase to the town’s portion of the tax bill, for an overall property tax increase of 2 per cent when combined with the estimated regional and educational tax levies.”

The proposed increase would see residential property taxes increase by $14.73 per $100,000 of assessment; meaning that the owner of a home assessed at $800,000 would pay an additional $117.84 per year or $2.27 per week.

“The proposed budget is consistent with Council’s commitment to keep property taxes in line with inflation,” said Mayor Rob Burton. “It provides the funds necessary to build and maintain the town’s infrastructure and deliver the high-quality services our residents expect.”

In the town’s Draft 2020 Operating Budget, staff is recommending a $345.5 million operating budget that they say will support the delivery of a wide range of programs and services including maintenance of roads and community facilities, fire services, transit, parks and trails, recreation and culture, senior services, libraries, and a host of other important services.

Some program enhancements recommended for 2020 include funding for the opening of the Oakville Trafalgar Community Centre, Fire Station #8 near Dundas Street and Bronte Road, the opening of various new parks, parkettes and trails, as well as new software enhancements, in particular, those related to online services.

Also included are four new positions to expand fire prevention and public education efforts to growth areas of the town.

The Budget Committee also received the Draft 2020 Capital Budget which sees $117.6 million of funding to support infrastructure renewal, growth, strategic priorities, and community enhancements. Some of the capital projects for 2020 include:

  • Various stormwater and erosion control — $11.2M
  • Phase 2 of the Downtown Lakeshore Reconstruction Project — $10.8M
  • New Oakville Trafalgar Community Centre and neighbourhood park — $7.1M
  • Electric buses — $3.0M
  • Active Transportation: Crosstown Trail Phase 3 — $1.8M
  • Plan-It Program: E-Services Phase 1 — $1.4M
  • Bronte Athletic Park artificial turf replacement — $0.9M

In addition, the town says in its goal for continuous improvement and improved efficiency, $2.3 million in savings are being recognized from efficiency review work undertaken in 2018 and 2019. Staff says savings have been identified in various program areas across the town which reflect streamlining of operations resulting in savings in staff realignments, materials, utilities, contracted services as well as new revenue generation activities.

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 (such as transit fares and recreation and culture program fees) and the estimated costs of administering and enforcing the Building Code Act and the Planning Act.

The majority of the proposed changes to the 2020 Rates and Fees are in line with inflation which will generate close to $1.4 million in revenue to help fund valued programs and services, according to staff.

“The Budget Committee will be reviewing the budget over the next few weeks before making a recommendation for Council consideration. Our decisions will be made in the context of keeping overall tax increases in line with inflation while building and renewing infrastructure and maintaining high-quality services,” said Ward 6 Councillor and Budget Committee Chair Tom Adams. “Public input is a critical piece of our annual budget process and I look forward to engaging with residents over the next few weeks.”

The final recommended budget will go forward to Council for approval on Dec 16, 2019. Until then, the public is encouraged to get involved through the following opportunities:

Budget Open House

  • Wednesday, November 27, 7 p.m. in the Bronte Room at Town Hall

Budget Committee and Council Meetings

  • Tuesday, December 3, 2019, 9:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. — public delegations
  • Tuesday, December 10, 2019 — Budget Committee deliberations
  • Tuesday, December 12, 9:30 a.m. – Budget Committee deliberations

All Budget Committee and Council meetings take place in Council Chamber at Town Hall, located at 1225 Trafalgar Road. Residents can also watch meetings via live stream on the town’s YouTube channel.

(Cover photo credit: Visit Oakville)

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