Orangeville praises 4.5% tax levy increase to taxpayers

December 14, 2023   ·   0 Comments


Orangeville property owners will soon be adding an extra $145 to the cheque to cover their 2024 municipal tax bill.

Orangeville council adopted a spending plan for next year earlier this month. The 2024 operational and capital budget includes a 4.5 per cent net levy increase, which is about $145 for the average property owner.

That increase is without levies for education and for Dufferin County.

According to a press release, town staff faced a number of challenges toward a reasonable levy adjustment. They had to pit municipal needs against inflation, growing demands for services, and low assessment growth.

The assessment growth for the next year is anticipated to be 0.5 per cent, generating just $119,510 in additional funding for the fiscal year.

“Each year, municipalities have to work with many external factors when developing our budgets, including inflation,” said Patrick Kelly, the town’s treasurer. “Changes to the tax rate need to be reflective of inflation to maintain existing service levels.”

Over the previous five years, the tax levy increases in Orangeville have been set below the rate of inflation. And that has created a cumulative gap, including a critical infrastructure gap.

The 2024 budget has identified high-priority projects while deferring some other capital chores, where possible, to limit debt loads.

“Staff have worked hard to find efficiencies in costs and revenue, recalibrating where possible to achieve this goal,” said David Smith, the municipality’s CAO. “A 4.5 per cent increase represents a responsible achievement in the face of current budget pressures.”

As the town moves into the new pricing model under its OPP contract, the next year provides savings of approximately $4-million. These savings have allowed the town to recalibrate the 2024 budget in a way that provides long-term fiscal sustainability and reduces the need to rely on one-time funding for infrastructure projects.

The town will continue to focus on effective asset management while improving corporate capacity to deliver on programs.

Orangeville has also solidified its commitment to environmental sustainability and community vitality in the 2024 budget, highlighted through focus on growing and properly maintaining the tree canopy and significantly increasing funding for sidewalk repairs and maintenance.

Among the highlights, the 2024 budget includes $184,000 for the planting of new trees. That will take the town closer to achieving a 40 per cent canopy by 2040.

“On behalf of council, I would like to thank our staff for their efforts in putting together a responsible budget that balances long-term fiscal financial responsibility while considering our current financial realities and the impact on our taxpayers,” said Mayor Lisa Post.

“Setting responsible budgets will help ensure we close the cumulative gaps and avoid creating future critical infrastructure gaps.”

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