Town council approves 5.38-per cent tax increase

Whitchurch-Stouffville residents will need to dig a little bit deeper in their pockets this year after council approved capital and operating budgets that will add about $113 to the town’s portion of the average tax bill.

That’s roughly the equivalent of an extra-large coffee from Tim Hortons per week and is based on an average 2020 assessment of $845,000 for a single-family detached home.

The town’s portion of this year’s tax bill includes a 5.38 per cent tax levy increase: 2.38 per cent for day-to-day operating expenses and the remaining three per cent a capital levy. The increase doesn’t factor in the impact of York Region and school board rate changes.

The $59.5-million operating budget – approved by council on February 4 – includes the water and wastewater budget, a public library grant, and plans to invest in new virtual town hall software and a mobile app while also enhancing the municipality’s technology infrastructure. Highlights also include plans to hire a marketing and advertising contractor and improve the tree canopy.

Community events, such as holiday and farmers’ markets, as well as events at ‘Nineteen on the Park,’ the multi-purpose event centre located in the downtown, are also emphasized in this year’s budget.

“The operating budget is the heart of all that we do as a municipality,” says Mayor Iain Lovatt. “It’s where all our services lie. There is no question this was a difficult budget to be considered but staff and council have worked diligently to be fair and responsible.”

The $14.9-million capital budget – approved by council at a meeting in December – includes $3.2 million in strategic initiatives, more than $3.7 million in growth-related projects and more than $7.8 million in repair and replacement investments. Capital projects are largely funded through development charges, reserves, developer contributions and grants.

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Photo: Mayor Iain Lovatt says that staff and council worked diligently to be fair and responsible with this year’s budget.

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