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Durham Region portion of property tax goes up 7.5%

Durham Region yesterday announced the 2024 Property Tax Supported Business Plans and Budget with $2.2 billion in gross expenditures, requiring a 2024 tax levy of approximately $899.5 million.

“This represents a proposed net property tax increase of 7.5 per cent, said a region statement while pointing out that it means approximately 5.7 per cent increase in the overall property tax bill. “This is a monthly increase of approximately $19 for an average residential property in Durham Region.”

In 2023, the increase was lower but still a substantial 5.2 per cent.

Local municipalities that have announced property tax increase in their own portion of the overall tax bill (the latter includes Durham Region and school boards), are:

  • Uxbridge – 5.77 per cent
  • Brock – 3.97 per cent
  • Oshawa – 3.89 per cent
  • Whitby – 1.5 per cent, and
  • Clarington – 1.5 per cent

A Durham Region statement said it continues to advocate for funding from other levels of government for shortfalls in development charge funding resulting from Ontario Bill 23, More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022, Ontario Bill 134, Affordable Homes and Goods Jobs Act, 2023 and related provincial legislation as well as for the unplanned and accelerated infrastructure needs to meet provincial housing targets.

“Significant financial challenges, similar to those faced by other Ontario municipalities, and an ever-evolving economic landscape reinforce the need to review the funding model between the provincial, federal and municipal governments to ensure the highest quality programs and services continue within our community,” the statement said adding, “Through the 2024 Business Plans and Budget, the region is investing to improve the lives of people and businesses in Durham through everyday services—ensuring a healthy, safe and happy community for all.”

Investing in critical frontline core service areas

It said the region is investing in critical frontline core service areas, balancing the need for taxpayer affordability and competitive property taxes, and accounting for the future growth of the community through investments the community depends on like:

  • Housing and homelessness support programs to advance the goals of At Home in Durham, the Durham Housing Plan 2014-2024, to end homelessness in Durham and ensure affordable rent and greater housing choices for everyone through a total investment of $137.2 million towards:
    • Increased funding for the At Home Incentive program to support the development of new affordable housing units.
    • Establishing the new regionally-led Affordable Housing Development and Renewal Office Division, to lead the work on affordable housing developments at 300 Ritson Road South in Oshawa and 650 Rossland Road East in Whitby and revitalization projects at Durham Regional Local Housing Corporation sites.
    • Continued innovative approaches to new affordable housing development that responds to local needs.
    • Expanded housing and homelessness support programs including community supports, outreach services, warming centres, rent supplements, supportive housing and shelters.
  • Regional transit through increases in transit service levels, transitioning the DRT fleet to zero emission technologies, and investing in new transit facilities and infrastructure, innovations, and passenger amenities, including:
    • 59,665 additional transit service hours.
    • 34 electric buses and supporting electrification infrastructure.
    • A more streamlined and efficient service delivery model.
    • Strategic planning activities to support DRT’s long-term planning and continuous improvement efforts.

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  • The Region of Durham Paramedic Services to support the growing community and improve current paramedic response times including:
    • 36 hours of additional paramedic response daily by putting two additional ambulances on the road and hiring 16 new paramedics.
    • Enhancements to the Community Paramedicine Program to provide equitable access to additional services in the home.
    • Advanced Care Paramedic training.
    • Capital investments for the Bowmanville Paramedic Station and a new station in South Whitby.
  • The Durham Regional Police Services to safeguard and protect our communities including:
    • 25 additional Front Line Officers to respond to growth and an increase in frontline work.
    • 29 additional officers and 22 new civilian positions supporting investigative and operational support units.
    • Capital investments in facilities, fleet and equipment.

Other major priority investments include implementation of the Region’s Corporate Climate Action Plan; investing in regional infrastructure to support projected growth and provincial housing targets; expanding available child care spaces, supporting the provincial Lakeshore East GO Extension to Bowmanville project; plus many other opportunities.

“The approved 2024 Property Tax Supported Business Plans and Budget upholds our commitment to support key priorities and deliver high-quality programs and services to the community. It reflects Regional Council’s focus on enhancing and maintaining front-line service delivery while meeting the challenges we currently face,” said John Henry, Regional Chair and CEO.

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