An Alternative and Accurate View of Oakville’s Fiscal Status

Oakville’s taxation revenues rose by 27.5 percent and expenditures on salaries, wages and benefits grew by almost 24 percent over the period.

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An Alternative and Accurate View of Oakville’s Fiscal Status
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About the Author

Linda Nazareth

Linda Nazareth

An economist, author and broadcaster, Linda is also the Senior Fellow for Economics and Population Change at think tank The Macdonald-Laurier Institute. Linda lives in Oakville with her husband and daughter. She campaigned in the 2014 Municipal Election for Ward 5.

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The average tax burden on Oakville households has risen by over 20 percent over the past four years, a figure far in excess of the rate of inflation. That’s just one of the figures I’m releasing today, distinct from that being presented by Oakville’s Mayor and incumbent candidates during this municipal campaign.

Oakville taxpayers are continuously given a telling of Oakville’s fiscal situation that suggests spending and taxation increases have been modest and that all is good because the books are balanced. Unfortunately, the reality is that Oakville taxpayers are paying more than ever before and not necessarily receiving value for their money.

Here are some of the statistics (all calculations are based on the four year period from 2009 to 2013, as presented in the Town of Oakville’s Annual Report for 2013).

  • Over the five-year period from 2009 to 2013, Oakville’s taxation revenues rose by 27.5 percent, a figure far quicker than the 7.3 percent increase in Canadian inflation (the inflation calculation is based on growth in the Canadian Consumer Price Index as measured by Statistics Canada). Oakville’s population grew by just 4.5 percent over the time period.
  • In 2009, the average taxation burden per household (as measured by tax revenues divided by all Oakville households) was $2,029, a figure that grew to $2,437 by 2013.That is an increase of over 20 percent over the five-year period. Adjusting the figures for inflation still shows an increase of 12 percent for the five years.
  • Total expenditures by the Town of Oakville grew by over 23 percent between 2009 and 2013, a figure well in excess of the 7.3 percent growth in inflation. Rather than the increase reflecting spending on services to Oakville taxpayers, it appears that it instead went to growing the size of government. Expenditures on salaries, wages and benefits grew by almost 24 percent over the period.
  • Even a cursory look at the Town of Oakville’s financial statements shows profligate spending and an increasing tax burden on Oakville taxpayers. Also concerning is the fact that taxpayers are being assured that the fiscal situation in Oakville is sound and even laudable. What is there is something different.


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    Readers Comments (2)

    1. Mike D...owki says:

      Never knew this site existed until a friend who gets emails from it told me about it. Overall, good job — even though the admin should note real news from opinion and self-serving pieces.

      So, this article made me think, a good thing, but then I looked deep at the numbers and realized that the author of the piece cherry picked the numbers, leaving out Regional taxes and school board as well. So by a rough estimate, this person claims to be “accurate” only quoting 40% of my tax pay.

    2. Linda Nazareth confirms what I have also stated – the financial numbers aren’t as rosy as they seem.

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