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"BUDGET COMMITTEE APPROVES LOWEST TAX LEVY INCREASE IN ALMOST TWO DECADES"

"BUDGET COMMITTEE APPROVES LOWEST TAX LEVY INCREASE IN ALMOST TWO DECADES" HALTON HILLS, ON – At yesterday’s meeting, Budget Committee approved the 2020 Budget, which included the lowest tax levy increase since 2001, at 3.1%. The achievement marks a tax cut from the projected 3.9% used as the basis for the Long Term Financial Plan. The increase is 2.1% when blended with Halton Region and the Boards of Education. “This is the lowest tax levy increase in almost two decades,” proclaimed Mayor Rick Bonnette, adding that the budget figure was ever more significant given the challenges of changing Provincial legislation. He noted that the tax increase still upheld the balanced and sustainable approach of the Long Term Financial Plan. “It’s important to note, that achieving a tax rate increase below the projected target is indicative of the Town’s strong fiscal management and relentless pursuit to keep the tax rate as low as possible.” Contributors to the levy include: A healthy assessment growth of 2.26% Review and implementation of efficiencies (e.g. technology advances) Ongoing receipt of supplementary taxes Phased re-payment of Hydro Promissory Note The 2020 Budget demonstrates a solid fiscal approach that maintains current service levels, allows for investment in infrastructure and debt management while supporting Council’s priorities of shaping growth, addressing climate change, supporting affordable and seniors’ housing and meeting transportation needs. Highlights include: Reserve contributions of $9.9M to prepare for growth and unanticipated events Acceleration of debt payment Continuation of the Special Infrastructure Gap Levy to maintain assets and support recommendations to lower carbon conversions; (part of the $1.7M capital investment to address climate change) Discontinuation of the ice rate surcharge The budget also takes into account the pending sale of approximately 5.36 acres of developable area in Hornby Park to allow for the construction of the District 1 Halton Region Police Station. A portion of the site will be retained for existing park uses in recognition of the historic use of the Hornby area. Proceeds derived from the sale would be directed to the Trafalgar Sports Park Field of Dreams project, and allow for the completion of three major diamonds as well as associated pavilion/concession infrastructure. The 2020 Budget will go to Town Council on December 9 for final approval. Halton Hills’ tax levy compares favourably to area municipalities. Additional information can be found in the Budget Directions Report, 2020 Budget and departmental business plansall available on haltonhills.ca




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