Counties Council approves tax decrease in 2020 budget

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The United Counties of Leeds and Grenville Council voted to reduce the 2020 tax rate by (0.33%) in passing its 2020 budget on February 19. The United Counties will collect $41.7 million from property taxpayers this year and the approved budget provides for total expenditures of $105.2 million. Capital expenditures account for $18.5 million. The total levy increase is 3.14%.

The taxation base includes additional tax revenue from real growth (new assessment) of  $484,732 – an increase of 1.21%. The additional tax revenue from assessment changes due to the phase-in is $920,911 as property values in the residential, commercial, and farm property classes increased. The 2020 budget only utilizes $783,409 of the available increase due to phase-in.

The average residential property assessment in Leeds and Grenville is approximately
$221,000 with an average tax increase of $8.00 for the median residential property. However, the impact varies for each taxpayer, depending on the phase-in of the assessments over a four-year period. Leeds and Grenville ratepayers could see a small increase or decrease in their taxes depending upon the 2020 phase-in value of their assessments.

The budget also included a 1% dedicated hospital levy of $394,440 and a 2% dedicated infrastructure levy in the amount of $788,880 to help address current and future infrastructure requirements.

“With the passage of the budget, and no changes to service levels, staff is able to commence with their 2020 work plans and capital works programs,” Counties Chief Administrative Officer Andy Brown said.

A breakdown of the operating budget expenditures shows the largest piece of the pie is for Ontario Works at 21.77%, followed by transportation services costs at 17.14%, Paramedic Service budget at 14.64%, and the Community Housing budget at 12.63%.

The 2020 capital budget of $18.5 million includes $12.36 million for public works projects. The overall capital budget increased from last year’s total of $15 million. Road and infrastructure work accounts for 83.55% of capital expenditures. Paramedic Service takes up 3.9%, followed by 3.5% for Maple View Lodge, 3.57% for County Properties, 2.63% for Community Housing, and 2.37% for Corporate Services. For more information, contact Treasurer Pat Huffman at 613-342-3840, ext. 2468.

Upcoming meetings: Committee of the Whole on Tuesday, March 3, Joint Services Committee on Wednesday, March 4, and regular Counties Council on Thursday, March 19. All regular meetings begin at 9 a.m. in the Council Chambers at 25 Central Avenue, Brockville. For more information, contact County Clerk Lesley Todd at 613- 342-3840, ext. 2454.

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