Brock Council has approved a 2.4 per cent increase in tax levy in its 2021 Operating and Capital Budgets, approved at a meeting on February 22.
Brock has received $460,200 from the federal and provincial governments under the Safe Restart Programme to offset operating deficits.
Of the 2.4% increase, 2.28% is due to the township’s decision to change the funding model for street lighting. Previously, Brock used a complicated hybrid system based on a tax levy to fund street lighting in urban areas and a user-pay system for rural street lights.
Starting in 2021, all street lighting in Brock will be funded through the tax levy. Because of this, some taxpayers will experience the full 2.4% increase in tax levy while others, who previously paid a street lighting fee, will actually see their taxes reduced, said a council statement.
A copy of Brock’s Final 2021 budget is available on the Township’s website at www.townshipofbrock.ca/budget.
Ajax 2022-2025 Long Range Capital Budgets
Ajax said its decision to raise tax by 0.95% reflects council’s strong understanding of current economic realities and the need to keep tax rates low. In addition to balancing the impacts of Covid-19, the budgets moves key infrastructure forward, maintains service levels and provides for the cost of doing business.
The increase to the municipal tax bill for the region’s portion is estimated 1.09 percent and the province (Education) is assumed to be zero. Combined with the town’s 0.95 percent, the impact is expected to be an overall 2.04% percent property tax increase on the average residential tax bill, or $8.90 per month (estimate). The town’s portion of the $8.90 is $4.14.
Highlights of approved $76 million Operating Budget include:
- 3 full-time positions to support the Town’s Innovation and Technology Division;
- $258,900 to support workforce technology;
- $25,000 to support Lakeridge Health Ajax Pickering Hospital;
- $15,000 to support the newly established Ajax Anti-Black Racism Task Force;
- $6,000 to support LEAF program which provides subsidized native shrubs and trees;
- $17,800 for streetlight maintenance due to growth and a $77,000 savings in streetlights due to LED conversions;
- $22,900 to increase sidewalk clearing response time; and
- $193,700 to support increased cleaning protocols in Town facilities due to Covid-19.
Highlights of the $20 million Capital Budget include:
- $12.3M to improve our road network and safety, these projects include Rossland Road widening from Church Street to Westney Road ($4.5M) and Admiral Road reconstruction, in partnership with the Region of Durham ($3.8 M); and
- $2.4 M invested in repairing and upgrading aging Town buildings, including the Ajax and McLean Community Centres.
Two thirds of the total capital budget funding is from external sources such as Federal Gas Tax, Development Charges and Grants.
“The 2021 budget process was one of the most difficult that I have been a part of since being elected in 2003. The weight of the global Covid pandemic and its impact on our local taxpayers and businesses was at the forefront of my mind throughout this process. This was true of all my Council colleagues. It was very important to Council that we approved a fair and balanced budget in order to protect services levels, investments and future growth,“ said Mayor Shaun Collier, Town of Ajax