DAN CEARNS The Standard
SCUGOG: Homeowners in Scugog could see a 3.86 per cent municipal tax increase this year.
Scugog’s 2018 draft operating budget was presented to Councillors, at a meeting on Monday, February 12th. The projected 3.86 per cent increase is slightly lower than the Township’s set target increase of 3.9 per cent.
In her report, treasurer Dianne Valentim estimated that when combined with the Region of Durham and education taxes, this would mean a $55 increase on the combined tax bill.
According to the treasurer, of that $55, about $52 is the increase for the Township, and there is a $4 increase for the Region of Durham. Her report also states the board of education tax decreased by $1.
One of the changes the treasurer noted in this year’s budget is the elimination of reserve transfers to fund the tax levy.
“Over the last two years, a total of $809,849 transfers from reserves to fund the tax levy have been eliminated. This has been accomplished through the core service and efficiency reviews, adjustments to user fees and charges and restructuring and re- prioritizing of budgets,” Ms. Valentim wrote in her report.
Regional Councillor Bobbie Drew lauded this change.
“I’m sure all of council is going to be very happy that we are not transferring money for operating from the reserves anymore. I’ve been pretty vocal about that the last few years,” she said.
She also thanked the treasurer for not only meeting council’s target tax increase, but “surpassing it” with a slightly lower increase.
Some of the other changes in the budget include a savings of $6,600 from the Township’s crossing guards review, $28,000 in savings from the Township changing it’s waste disposal contracts, and the addition of the Township’s municipal service agreement with the OLG for $874,600 per year.
Mayor Tom Rowett called what staff had accomplished in this draft budget, an “incredible feat.”
There will be an operating budget open house on Wednesday, February 21st, at 6:30 p.m., at the Scugog Memorial Public Library.
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