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New Tec council approves 2.59 per cent tax levy increase

January 17, 2018   ·   0 Comments

By Wendy Gabrek

 

The Town of New Tecumseth adopted its 2018 Operating and Capital budgets at its Council meeting on Monday, January 15.

With a net taxation levy of $32.2 million, which represents a 2.59 per cent increase, the average assessed home worth $368,267, will see an annual increase of $90.79.

The budget includes $39.48M in capital works including:

  • Road upgrade program – various sections
  • Tottenham Library
  • New park developments in Alliston, Beeton & Tottenham
  • Playground equipment replacement
  • Trail development
  • Tottenham Conservation Area upgrades
  • Fleet/equipment and fire apparatus acquisition and replacement
  • Fire Station #4 – Alliston & related equipment
  • Tottenham water transmission main
  • New well development
  • Town Administration Centre
  • Back-up generators – wastewater pumping stations

The Water and Wastewater budget approval results in the base charge for water and wastewater rates increasing by 2.5% effective April 1, 2018.

The impact of the proposed rate change for an average residential home would create a monthly increase of between $1.96 and $2.01 per cubic meter.

“I’m looking forward to seeing some much needed road improvements throughout our municipality as well as some park equipment upgrades in Hanley Park,” said Ward 2 Councillor Michael K. Beattie. “I’m also looking forward to another exciting year working with the Gibson Centre Board, our Youth Advisory Committee, and our Alliston Memorial Arena Upgrades Task Force. I’m honoured to be part of a progressive team at the Alliston Business Improvement Association who are consistently punching far above their weight. And, I’m happy to see that tax increases have been kept down this term and are significantly lower compared to previous terms.”

On his Facebook page, Beattie also said: “Many thanks to our staff and my colleagues for all of their hard work during the process, and over the past four years as we have now passed the final budget ahead of this fall’s upcoming election.

“A 2.59%  increase this year is respectable, but it could have been lower. Let me explain…Growth that took place in 2017 brought in $1,952,836. That number was forecasted and projected to be $1,345,145 – favourable difference of $607,691. Excellent news!

“This surplus is then transferred to the Rate Stabilization Reserve. This reserve currently has almost $1.4M in it. So if we take that $1.4M current balance, add what we originally forecasted to transfer to the reserve this year, the reserve would sit around $2.8M.

“But what about the extra $607k we took in over and above our projections, you ask? I moved that that money go to taxpayers – taking this year’s tax increase down from 2.59 per cent to only 0.57 per cent. Unfortunately that motion failed, leaving the tax increase at 2.59 per cent.

“I believe this could have been a great opportunity for us to maintain services and service levels while delivering relief to taxpayers – especially those on fixed incomes who have been stretched to their limits from all levels of government. Nevertheless, the majority sided against my motion and I respect their decision – many thanks to Councillor Norcross and Councillor Biss for standing with me tonight – I appreciate your support, gentlemen.”

“I’m very happy that council approved a budget that continues to invest in infrastructure improvement and water security with money allocated to Church St. Road upgrades and urbanization, replacement of the Riverdale Park-Lions Pavilion and new well development,” said Ward 1 Councillor Marc Bis. “Council approved my request to help fund the transfer of 101 acres of unique and diverse forest (Heritage Forest) to the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust and to improve by-law enforcement with an agreement to hire not-for-profit Commissionaires to work with the town’s existing team of by-law officers.”

“I’m pleased that we are creating a new hub in Tottenham with the addition of the library to the community centre,” addded Ward 7 Councillor Shira Harrison McIntyre. “The Transportation Master plan will be undertaken this year, which is something that I campaigned on. As we have more cars on our roads than ever before, we need to consider how the roads are being used, and where we need to focus our resources. People need to get to work safely and efficiently, and this plan will make sure the municipality paves the right roads and prevents issues from arising.”

When asked for his input on the outcome, Ward 6 Councillor Richard Norcross, told The Times: “The consultant was passed in the budget to take the Beeton community center to the next stage of final design and implementation. Next steps community meetings in Beeton to commence in March / April for public input.”

New Tecumseth Council had not sat for five weeks prior to the adoption of the budget. All members of Council were present, except Ward 8 Councillor Chris Ross.

The 2018 budget as approved by Council is available online at www.newtecumseth.ca.

         


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