Early 2020 budget forecast calls for 1.5 percent tax hike in Orangeville

November 15, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Mike Baker

Town staff offered something of a sneak peek at Orangeville’s 2020 financials on Monday evening (Nov. 11), with very early estimates calling for a net tax levy increase of 1.5 percent, or $534,669, to next year’s budget. 

While the complete 2020 budget package has not yet been presented to Council, it was noted in a press release distributed by the Town on Tuesday (Nov. 12) that Orangeville’s total projected spending for next year is approximately $60 million – up from $56 million in 2019. Operating expenses are expected to top out at $40.6 million, with an additional $3 million set aside to bolster municipal reserves, and $2.6 million to be transferred to the capital budget. 

On the capital side, the Town is expecting to spend a little more than $15 million, with a significant portion of that, practically $4 million, set aside this year as something of a first contribution towards a new municipal fire hall. In total, the Town has earmarked $10 million over the next three years to fund a new building.

Municipal revenues for 2020 will top out at a shade under $9.7 million, down from $10.1 million in 2019. 

The budget document, which Orangeville CAO Ed Brennan noted was more than 300 pages long this year, has been provided to members of Council, and will be presented in full on Nov. 25 and Nov. 26. 

“Our budget, I would say, is fiscally responsible,” Mr. Brennan stated. “It is looking at the requirements we will be moving forward to, is meeting requirements for levels of services that Council has approved and is keeping with the strategic priorities outlined in our strategic plan: Orangeville Forward.”

The Town’s total net levy requirement in 2020 is $36,617,997, an approximate $1 million increase from 2019. That, usually, would require a gross tax levy increase of 2.5 percent, although about half of that will be offset by assessment growth over the past 12 months. As such, the net levy increase to the tax base, as the budget is currently proposed, stands at 1.5 percent, or $534,669.

It should be noted that these numbers will almost certainly change, regardless of Council’s final decision on the community’s polarizing policing issue. 

In addressing Council briefly ahead of what will be her first budget as head of the  treasury department, Nandini Syed offered her thoughts on the financial forecast.

“The look and feel for this year’s budget is very comprehensive. This budget, in a nutshell, can be described as a first-step towards a service level-oriented budget, which will become the norm for municipal budgeting because of asset management regulations (that will soon be applied) from the provincial government,” Ms. Syed stated. 

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