Halton commits to maintaining strong financial position and keeping taxes low

2016 Budget Directions Report approved by Regional Council

Oakville News Halton Region Budget 2014: Oakville News
Halton commits to maintaining strong financial position and keeping taxes low

About the Author

Gary Carr

Gary Carr

In 2006, Gary was elected to the position of Regional Chair at the Regional Municipality of Halton, and was re-elected to the position in 2010. Gary sits on the Standing Committees of Health and Social Services, Administration and Finance, and Planning and Public Works, in addition to a number of Advisory Committees. Gary is also a member of the board for the Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance, and served on the Halton Regional Police Services Board and Metrolinx.

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On July 15, Halton Regional Council approved the 2016 Budget Directions Report projecting a 1.9 per cent tax increase for Regional services, which would continue Halton’s track record of keeping tax increases at or below the rate of inflation. This document also describes the budget principles that will guide the preparation of the 2016 Halton Region Budget and Business Plan.

The Budget Directions Report helps Halton create a transparent and cost effective Budget and Business Plan for the coming year. Under these guidelines, the 2016 Budget will preserve our strong long-term financial position and AAA credit rating while keeping taxes low. It is the first step in drafting a budget that promotes a high quality of life for everyone in Halton.

The Report is a key resource to ensure that the upcoming budget will align with plans, policies and targets approved by Regional Council. It also outlines how the budget will support the Region’s commitment to governing for the future, a strategic priority area in the Halton Region Strategic Action Plan 2015-2018: Shaping Halton’s Future.

Some Tax Budget priorities and pressures (from programs funded by property taxes) highlighted by the Report include:

  1. Investment in transportation and the state-of-good-repair capital program for Regional roads;
  2. Implementation of the Burlington Regional Waterfront Park Master Plan;
  3. Additional program needs identified in the Paramedic Services 10-Year Master Plan;
  4. Provincial funding shortfalls, including those for dedicated offload nursing staff at hospitals in Halton;
  5. Launch of the Senior Tax Deferral Policy, which will help keep low-income seniors in their homes by enabling them to defer property taxes for as long as they remain eligible; and
  6. Assisting Credit Valley Conservation in addressing Emerald Ash Borer issues in Terra Cotta and Silver Creek Conservation Areas.

Some Rate Budget priorities and pressures (from programs funded by water and wastewater service fees) highlighted by the Report include:

  1. Expanding Regional water and wastewater infrastructure and increasing needs for system maintenance;
  2. Continued investment in the state-of-good-repair capital program for Regional water and wastewater infrastructure assets;
  3. Greater demand for locates (identifying buried infrastructure, such as electric, gas, water or wastewater systems) through the One Call program; and
  4. Implementation of the Region-wide Basement Flood Mitigation Study.

The 2016 Budget and Business Plan will be reviewed by standing committee between December 1 and 3, 2015. The Budget is scheduled for consideration by Regional Council on December 16, 2015.

To learn more about budgets at Halton Region or to review the 2015 Budget & Business Plan, please visit halton.ca/budget.

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