DAN CEARNS The Standard
SCUGOG: Scugog councillors have completed the 2020 budget planning process, approving the operating budget on Monday, March 9th. The 2020 municipal operating budget totals $13,745,800. The total budget includes a tax increase of 4.87 percent, which comprises 3 percent for the roads levy, 0.5 percent for the vehicle and equipment levy, 0.5 percent for the facility and building levy and 0.87 percent for operating expenses. This means the average Scugog resident with a home valued at $437,400 will see a $65.60 increase, on the Scugog side of their tax bill. Treasurer Dianne Valentim told councillors the operating budget increase of 0.87 percent is “significantly below the [Consumer Price Index].” When combined with the Region of Durham and Durham District School Board taxes, an average Scugog property owner will see a 1.92 percent increase on their combined tax bill, which is an $87 increase. Scugog will raise $13,544,000 in taxes. Mayor Bobbie Drew said some other municipal budgets that were passed in Durham “have used a considerable amount of reserves to come at a lower rate.” “We chose not to do that,” Mayor Drew explained Scugog was able to come to the 0.87 percent operating rate through finding savings. “To me, this is a great budget,” she said. The budget includes three new full-time positions: an accounting analyst, a public works operator, and a parks attendant. “It is impressive that you are able to bring in a budget that’s under [the Consumer Price Index]. I’m very pleased with those numbers,” Ward 1 Councillor Ian McDougall said. “I’m just surprised that we’re able to bring in a budget at those numbers and still hire three new positions.” Ward 4 Councillor Deborah Kiezebrink praised the budget and the process, “We are proud of our staff, and the work they are doing, and we are grateful for the opportunity to contribute.” The full budget can be viewed on www.scugog.ca.