The City of Oshawa yesterday said its 2024 budget has been adopted. Itrequires a 3.89 per cent increase to the overall city tax levy.
The city said this represents an increase to the Oshawa portion of the residential tax bill of approximately $82.25 (or $6.85 a month) on a property assessed at $356,000 (Oshawa’s median house assessment value as published by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation).
The increase on the Oshawa portion of the total tax bill is an increase of 2.84 per cent. The city’s increase will be combined with the Region of Durham’s budget outcome in early 2024 to finalize the tax levies for the year.
A city statement said the 2024 budget is reflective of the continued constraints on municipal finances as a result of inflation and legislation that has been passed by the Government of Ontario, amongst other factors. With this in mind, the budget:
- Protects frontline services;
- Invests in current and new infrastructure;
- Includes inflationary increases; and,
- Continues to focus on long-term financial sustainability.
“This past fall I worked closely with staff and members of council and reviewed comments from the community to identify priorities for the upcoming budget while taking a fiscally responsible approach to respect affordability,” said Oshawa Mayor Dan Carter. “I am proud to say that the resulting budget responds to the needs of a rapidly growing city without losing sight of the financial pressures that our community members are facing.”
Oshawa budget is comprised of two components: operating and capital.
The 2024 operating budget covers the costs of delivering services to the community, including snow removal, waste collection, fire services and recreation programs, as well as the ongoing maintenance of city sidewalks, roads, on-street cycling lanes, trails parks, playgrounds, splash pads, sports fields, facilities and more while also providing funding for external agencies including the Oshawa Public Libraries and Oshawa Senior Community Centres.
The operating budget also includes an increase of 41 permanent positions, including an Animal Care Attendant, City Planners, Communications staff, Mechanics and Information Technology Services staff. 11 of the positions will be funded from sources other than the tax levy. This is aligned with the strategic workforce review completed in 2021 to respond to the growth of and development of the city currently and to meet service levels in future years.
New staff, projects
The capital budget plans for the costs of constructing and renewing buildings, roads and parks and investing in key strategic priorities for the city’s future. The 2024 capital budget of $49 million invests in the city’s vital infrastructure and other core assets. The budget includes significant investment in building and equipment, transportation and information technology, as well as parks, recreation and culture, which will see approximately $14.61 million allocated for projects like the Rose Valley Community Park, Bond/Simcoe Urban Square, Conant Park redevelopment, investment in active transportation and more.
The City of Oshawa is part of a two-tier government system and collects property taxes on behalf of the City, the Regional Municipality of Durham and the Province for local school boards. For every dollar collected in 2023, the city kept 41 cents, while approximately 44 cents were allocated to the Region of Durham and 15 cents were sent the province for local school boards.
The approved 2024 City Budget will be available online in the coming weeks on the City Budget webpage at oshawa.ca/Budget.