SAM ODROWSKI The Standard
UXBRIDGE: The Township of Uxbridge’s 2018/2019 Operating and Capital Budgets were approved by the Finance Committee at a council meeting on February 5th. Final approval for the budget will happen at a meeting on February 12th.
“The focus of the 2017/18 Budget was to continue to maintain existing levels of services and programs, while minimizing tax increases as much as possible. The Township continues to plan for not only the short term, but also the long term. The Township has completed Asset Management Plans and is well prepared to continue to maintain our Township’s high level of quality roads, bridges, culverts and facilities into the future,” said Councilor Pat Molloy, Deputy Mayor, Chair of Finance and Emergency Services.
The property tax increase from this year budget is at 2.5 per cent plus 1.1 per cent for the asset management plan, which solely focuses on improving and maintaining Uxbridge’s infrastructure. The town also has several reserves where they save for large expenses like this year’s culvert project along Brock Street or the new Scugog and Uxbridge Animal Shelter.
Councillor Molloy said, “The best thing about what we have done in the last four or five years is that we have planned for the future.”
With this year’s tax increase, residents who own a house assessed at $500,000 will pay an increase of approximately $51. Although, it is estimated that with the total property tax increase, which includes Uxbridge as well as the Region of Durham and Education, will be $139, or a 2.47 per cent increase from the year prior.
A chunk of the tax increase can be attributed to downloaded costs the Township of Uxbridge faces, such as Ontario’s bill 148 (Fair Work Places, Better Jobs Act, 2017) which results in higher costs for the Township. The OMPF grant fund has also been cut annually for Uxbridge, since 2012 the town has lost a total of $750,800 in funding.
After this year’s budget, Councillor Molloy is confident that the costs passed onto the town will be limited and future budgets will not see years of large tax increases.
He said, “Going forward are budgets are consistently more in line with the cost of living and we have dealt with the issues the province has dealt us”
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