Orangeville BIA increases levy by 3.2%, first time in eight years

February 9, 2023   ·   0 Comments


For the first time in eight years, the Orangeville Business Improvement Area will increase its levy.

Mike Beattie, Orangeville BIA chairperson, said 2014 is the last time the group’s levy increased. Members heard during the group’s annual general meeting on Feb. 1 that there’s a proposed 3.2 per cent increase to offset inflationary increases.

“We’ve held the line for a long time,” he said. “But the board felt that, considering an inflation rate of 6.8 per cent, a levy increase of 3.2 per cent was required in order to maintain service levels and to deliver events for the years to come.”

BIA members unanimously accepted the levy increase.

The preliminary financial report for 2022 is a mixed bag. Inflation increased costs in some areas, but the organization was able to save money in other areas to compensate.

Ultimately, though, they were able to end the year $93,252 under budget.

This year’s budget is based on “traditional” years’ operating expenses, Beattie said. The BIA anticipates $522,000 in total revenue in 2023. Its total operating expenses are expected to be $522,000, and special projects are estimated to be $26,000.

The expected inflationary increases will be funded through the levy. As an example, Beattie said the quoted contract price for the installation, maintenance, and storage of the lights for the downtown winter light display has increased by 75 per cent over last year’s price.

“We have already started looking into alternative providers with a better price,” he said. “But, in the meantime, we have to build in a $7,000 increase into the 2023 budget in case we can’t find a price closer to 2022 levels.”

That extra cost makes up almost half of the proposed levy increase, he said.

There are 156 commercially rated properties in the BIA’s boundaries. As many as 130 properties located in the town’s heritage core are commercially assessed at less than $1 million. Those properties contribute about 21.5 per cent of the BIA’s total levy.

The average increase to the heritage area properties will be about an extra $24 a year, Beattie said.

Twenty-two properties commercially assessed between $1 million and $8 million contribute 38.5 per cent of the BIA levy. The increase will mean an extra $205 a year for them.

Two businesses pay about 48 per cent of the levy and the increase will mean almost an extra $1,700 a year.

“The burden on small local businesses and property owners in the heritage core will be quite low with the higher impact to larger commercial properties to the east and the north of the downtown that house multiple commercial tenants,” Beattie said.

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