Counties Council voted to increase the 2017 tax rate by 2% while passing the 2017 budget at the Council meeting last week. Leeds and Grenville ratepayers could see a small increase or decrease in their taxes, depending upon the 2017 phase-in value of their assessments. The United Counties will collect $37.6-million from property taxpayers this year. The approved budget provides for total expenditures in the amount of $95-million and capital expenditures account for $12.7-million.
Service levels were maintained but the Counties is facing the loss of revenues and increased costs in the areas of winter control due to harsher winters, higher utility costs, and continued infrastructure needs. In an effort to address the infrastructure deficit Council has included a 1% dedicated capital levy in the amount of $363,359 in the 2017 budget.
An average residential property assessment in Leeds and Grenville is approximately $259,000. The average tax increase is $34.00 for the average residential property. However, the impact varies for each taxpayer depending on the phase-in of the assessments over a four-year period.
A breakdown of the operating budget expenditures shows the largest piece of the pie is for Ontario Works at 23.67 per cent, followed by transportation costs of 17.3 per cent. Community Housing budget is 13.2 per cent and the Paramedic Service budget is 12.99 per cent. Operating expenses are up by 1.99 per cent overall.
The 2017 capital budget of $12.7–million includes $10.4-million for public works projects. The overall capital budget decreased from last year’s total of $13.4-million. Road and infrastructure work accounts for 81.71 per cent of capital expenditures. Paramedic Service take up 5.82 per cent, followed by 4.56 per cent for County Properties, 3.62 per cent for Community Housing, 1.98 per cent for Corporate Services, and 1.87 per cent for Maple View Lodge.
The taxation base includes real growth (new assessment) of $626,147, or an increase of 1.48 per cent. The change in assessment due to the phase-in includes a loss of $118,268 as property values in the residential and commercial classes decreased. Farm values also increased substantially but less than the decreases in other classes. For more information contact Treasurer, Pat Huffman at 613-342-3840, ext. 2468.


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