York Regional Council has approved a $3.7 billion budget for 2022, the final in the four-year budget coinciding with the current term of council.
The budget consists of $2.7 billion in operating costs to support the delivery of core Regional services and $980 million in capital costs to support growth and maintain existing infrastructure in a state of good repair.
The 2022 budget includes an investment of $980 million towards York Region’s 10-year capital plan.
The budget includes a 1.96% net tax levy and the introduction of an incremental 1% Rapid Transit Infrastructure Levy to help fund the Region’s $1.12 billion portion of the Yonge North Subway Extension (YNSE). The incremental 1% will be added to the base budget, generating approximately $12 million in the first year.
The Rapid Transit Infrastructure Levy will be reviewed as part of the annual budget process. Development charges will also help fund the Region’s contribution for this significant project.
Together, the 1.96% tax levy and the 1% Rapid Transit Infrastructure Levy represents an increase of approximately $77 on the Regional tax levy for homes with an average assessed value of $802,000.
“The fiscal impacts of COVID-19 continue to affect York Region’s operations. However, despite these challenges, the 2022 budget reflects our ongoing commitment to strong, caring and safe communities,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson. “In addition to supporting ongoing COVID-19 response and recovery efforts, this budget enables York Region to help move forward our top transit priority, the Yonge North Subway Extension. Through careful planning, we are in a strong financial position to balance unexpected expenses while delivering high quality programs and services in a fiscally responsible manner.”
Highlights of the budget include:
- Advancing construction of the Yonge Subway North Extension – a critical link in a comprehensive transit system
- Maintaining safe operations and ensuring compliance with Public Health and Provincial direction at the Region’s two long-term care homes, including supply of PPE, increased cleaning, active screening and testing and technological supports to protect residents and workers
- Investing in new and upgraded platforms, systems and applications to improve customer service and maintain efficient service delivery to residents
- Ensuring reserve contributions keep pace with the Region’s growing asset base and ensure financial sustainability through careful debt and reserve management
- Managing more than 6,700 community housing units through Housing York Inc. and in partnership with non-profit and co-operative housing units
Initiatives included in the $2.7 billion operating budget:
- $761.5 million to support Community and Health Services: Includes continuing to support ongoing COVID-19 pandemic response and recovery efforts including vaccinations and outbreak management
- $651.2 million to support Environmental Services: Includes maintaining the current waste diversion rate at 93% and working with stakeholders to ensure smooth transition to full producer responsibility
- $554.7 million (combined) to support Transportation Services and York Region Rapid Transit Corporation: Includes maintaining more than 4,300 lane kilometres of urban and rural roads and advancing the next stage of development for 75 kilometres of bus rapid transit rapidways by 2051
- $414.6 million to support York Regional Police including operationalize the new District 1 Headquarters and providing key supports for front-line officers, including through the 911 communications centre
- $6.6 million to support Conservation Authorities includes protecting and restoring their respective watersheds
Initiatives included in the $980 million capital budget:
- $429.6 million combined to support Transportation Services and York Region Rapid Transit Corporation: Includes Implementing the Council-approved Transit and Fleet Electrification Plan to help lower greenhouse gas emissions and phase out fossil fuel-powered vehicles by 2051
- $210.7 million to support Environmental Services: Includes implementing energy conservation projects across existing Regional facilities to reduce cost and promote sustainability
- $136.8 million to support Community and Health Services: Includes constructing approximately 700 new affordable housing units within the Region by 2025
- $55 million to support Corporate Management and Governance: Includes investing in new and upgraded platforms, systems and applications to improve customer service and maintain efficient service delivery to residents
The 2022 budget includes an updated 10-year capital plan, forecasting spending of $9.53 billion to 2031 and reflects the directions and strategies set out in the 2019 to 2023 Strategic Plan: From Vision to Results.
Information on York Region’s 2020 budget is available at york.ca/budget including operating and capital budget backgrounders.