As reported previously, Councillor Emily Chorley and Deputy Mayor Séguin voted against the “approved” budget increase of 6.3% over the 2021 Operating Budget since this would have meant a 4.1% net tax increase (after allowing for New Assessment Growth of 2.2%). Not giving up, Councillor Chorley asked Treasurer Ian Davey if any savings could be found. Ian reported that about $300K in the 2021 budget had not been spent because various people were not hired as originally planned (see list in links below). He proposed that this be put into a “Tax Rate Stabilization Reserve” which would be used to smooth out volatility in tax rates. But why not this budget? So Suzanne Séguin moved and Emily Chorley seconded an amendment to tonight’s motion to approve the 2022 operating budget to take advantage of this.
Separately, the Province announced that Cobourg would be receiving $1,395,417 from the 2022 Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund (OCIF) and Ian suggested that $1,272,620 of this money be used to reduce the amount of borrowing the Town would require for the 2022 Capital Budget.
Both measures were passed unanimously and as a result, the budget increase over the 2021 Operating Budget is now 5.1% which results in a tax levy increase of 2.9% net increase (after allowing for New Assessment Growth of 2.2%). This is within the original target set of 3.1%. Our total taxes will include the County’s portion (latest estimate 3.11%) and the School Board’s (no word on that).
Also at tonight’s meeting, Council gave final approval for the increase in Transit fees and the increase in fees at the Marina and Campground. These were reported previously.
Addendum – 15 Dec 2021
The County has now approved their 2022 budget – here is the key part of their announcement:
The 2022 Budget includes a 3.11 per cent levy increase after growth, which is comprised of:
- A base levy increase of 1.85 per cent
- A Dedicated Infrastructure Investment of 0.85 per cent and
- Hospital funding of 0.41%
This amounts to $63.3 million in levy funding towards the total $181.3 million County budget.
The overall estimated impact of this increase for a median single family detached home in the county is approximately $38 in annual property taxation.
- Final Draft Budgets approved 5-2 – 27 Nov 2021 – includes links to Draft budgets which are now final (except for details on Capital sourcing)
- Savings – Schedule A – list by Ian Davey of unspent money. The budget included money to hire several employees part way through the year and replace anyone who left. Amount is $305K. Final amount could be higher and difference from $300K will go into Tax Rate Stabilization Reserve. Ian also promised to work on simplifying reserves to make them simpler and easier to understand.
- Fees for Marina and Campground to Increase – 5 December 2021
- Transit Fares to Increase– 2 December 2021