The Township of Uxbridge is finishing up their 2018 budget, with it expected to be approved by the end of January.
The total expenditures from the 2018 draft operating budget are $15.85-million and the capital budget is $19-million, adding up to a total of $35-million.
A large portion of the capital budget is attributed to the Brock Street Culvert Project, the New Animal Shelter for Scugog-Uxbridge, and a new fire truck for the Uxbridge Fire Department.
Council has gone through all the operating and capital budget items necessary to run the town and will be reviewing which items on the list of additional services will receive funding, at a budget meeting on January 9th.
The list of additional services is not included on the proposed budget and consists of projects that council, department heads, and organizations, want funded by taxpayers.
As the township prepares the budget, councillors meet with department heads to discuss how much it will cost, to do what their department did last year, this year. Then all the extra items or services requested by department heads are added to the list of additional services list.
By doing all the necessary budget items first and the additional services after, the Township can see how these requested items and services will affect the taxpayer.
Councillor Pat Molloy said, “It gives council a better opportunity to make an intelligent decision, because they then know the impact on the residence.”
This year council was able to cut around $160,000 from all the departments and according to Councillor Molloy, the tax increase is proposed to match the cost of living.
He said, “We are doing pretty good so far, we are on track with cost of living, which is around 2 per cent.”
He went on to tell the Standard a zero per cent tax increase is impossible, especially with the town’s future planning.
“We know what it cost to run the township, there is not going to be years of zero per cent increases, quite frankly, in this world you can’t do that,” said Councillor Molloy, Uxbridge’s treasurer, Donna Condon, said, “We have to plan for the future and we can’t drain all the funds one year to come in at a really low tax rate, that’s not responsible at all.”
To prevent spikes in the budget, council puts money away each year to prepare for large expenses.
“We had a fire truck delivered this year but it doesn’t impact our taxes, because we knew it was coming and we have been putting money aside,” Councillor Molloy said.
He continued, “A lot of our long-term planning is working really well, and that’s why the tax increase is down around the cost of living now.”
Through planning for future expenses, the Township of Uxbridge has been able to keep the budget consistent.
Councillor Molloy said, “We’re residence right, we don’t want to pay more for taxes either.”