Council approves 1.94 per cent tax hike

Whitchurch-Stouffville Council has approved a 1.94 per cent property tax hike after approving a budget focused on providing services around three themes: live a little, get creative and spend time in town with loved ones.

“The pandemic has taught us the immense value of being able to spend time with loved ones in person,” the Town says in its 2022/2023 Draft Operating & Capital Budget. “After separation for so long, even just a brief meetup can satisfy our social needs. A walk in the neighborhood park or a visit to the library with a friend or loved one can be something to treasure. Our budgets, just like our lifestyles, are evolving to appreciate what is realistic and sustainable.”

Council approved a $62.2-million operating budget and a $16.7 capital budget, which include a $2.7-million grant for the Whitchurch-Stouffville Public Library and Latcham Art Centre, $4.4 million for the Memorial Park Phase 5 – Skating Trail construction, $2.7 million for Edward Street reconstruction, $448,400 for a new neighbourhood park/parkette design and construction and $359,600 for O’Brien Avenue, Main Street to Rose Avenue reconstruction – design phase.

Other budget highlights: $345,000 for traffic calming initiatives, including roundabout improvements, $165,000 for Winona Drive, Main to Rupert reconstruction – design phase, $125,000 for construction of a scooter track at Memorial Park, $65,000 for downtown initiatives, including revitalization and tourism opportunities, and $25,000 for construction of disc golf course at Byer’s Pond.

“Council is conscious of the pandemic pressures on our residents and as such have approved another prudent budget for 2022,” says Mayor Iain Lovatt. “The focus of this budget was to increase service levels across all areas of operation from customer service to fire services, where we have advanced the hiring of two full-time fire suppression staff in the spring instead of waiting until 2023.”

Property taxes are used to pay for services such as garbage and recycling collection, sewer protection, road and draining maintenance, snow removal, street lighting, policing, fire protection and administration. They’re calculated using the assessed value of your property – determined by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation – and multiplying it by the combined municipal and education tax rates (also known as blended tax rate) for each property class. Because the 2020 assessment update was postponed, property assessments for the 2022 taxation year will once again be based on 2016 property values.

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