Council approves 2021 budget with 1.89% tax hike

Mayor Iain Lovatt

Whitchurch-Stouffville residents face a 1.89-per cent increase to their municipal tax bill next year after Town Council approved a $62.4-million operating budget and a $12.9-million capital budget.

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Budget focuses more than ever on being fiscally reasonable,” Mayor Iain Lovatt says. “However, the Town is still determined to maintain and increase service levels residents rely on every day. We are absolutely committed to enhancing our residents’ living, working, and leisure experiences here in Town.”

The operating budget deals with day-today activities such as programs and services, facilities and infrastructure maintenance, fire protection and bylaw enforcement. Highlights of that budget include a $2.16-million library grant. The Town will hire two full-time parking bylaw officers, a customer service associate, four full-time fire staff, a full-time arborist and two part-time roads labourers. A one-per-cent capital levy will address capital infrastructure and $75,000 has been earmarked for the Community Improvement Plan.

A capital budget, meanwhile, is largely concerned with fixed assets such as facilities and infrastructure, including parks, roads, sewer and water systems. Maintenance that increases the life of an asset and the replacement of capital assets are both capital expenses. Highlights of that budget include $1.6 million for Lloyd Street reconstruction, $1.5 million for various roads repairs and rehabilitation, $900,000 to replace a fire truck pumper, $700,000 to replace sewers on Vanzant Court and the first phase of design for the Memorial Park Skating Trail.

This is the first time Town Council dealt with a multi-year budget, which contains detailed anticipated expenditures and revenues for two or more budgetary periods. Multi-year budgeting is considered an effective way for municipal governments to plan, allocate resources and align financial plans with long-term strategic objectives. 

According to a ‘community snapshot’ included in the budget, Whitchurch-Stouffville is the sixth richest community in Canada. The average household net worth is $2.41 million and the average household is $150,340. In 2020, the Town had the seventh lowest residential tax rate in the entire Greater Toronto-Hamilton Area. The 2021 operating and capital budget and other supporting documents are available at www.townofws.ca/budgets

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share This