DAN CEARNS The Standard
SCUGOG: The Township of Scugog has completed their 2023 budget process, approving the operating budget at a meeting on Monday, March 27th.
This year’s operating budget totals $17,591,500 and includes a tax increase at the Township level of 2.43 percent. To put this in perspective, this will mean an increase of $10.29 per month. A Township residential property owner will see a 5.03 percent overall tax increase when combined with Region of Durham and Durham District School Board taxes. This equates to about $21 per month.
Councillors had set a target tax increase of no more than 2.5 percent locally, coming into the budget process.
Regional Councillor Ian McDougall questioned if it is possible for the Township to use surplus funds to bring the increase down further.
Treasurer Laura Barta stressed that municipalities are required to pass a balanced budget, and stated the surpluses in 2020 and 2021 were anomalies due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The surplus [which] resulted from the pandemic closures, and the unforeseen issues resulting from that, is not sustainable for a future source of funding. It’s a one-time result of the global pandemic,” she said.
Ms. Barta added she expects the closing of the 2022 fiscal year to see a “much more normal level of operations and end result.”
“We are very close to break-even in 2022. There’s a little bit of a surplus, but we’re not quite done closing everything off for the year.”
She noted inflationary issues had been a factor in this year’s budget increase.