City saves $3.3 million in 2017 budget process
A focus on improving service delivery, managing growth, and delivering services more effectively and efficiently is at the heart of the City of Vaughan’s 2017 budget. Approved at last night’s Special Council Meeting, the budget achieves $3.3 million in savings and includes a 2.9 per cent residential tax increase positioning the City to deliver on Council’s priorities to move Vaughan forward.
Among the budget discussions was the progress being made with the Hospital Precinct Development Levy. Based on the current levy rate, the $80-million contribution – necessary to cover the cost of the City’s portion for the Vaughan Healthcare Centre Precinct land, development and servicing – will be recovered within approximately seven years or by 2022, which is seven years earlier than initially planned.
The 2.9 per cent tax rate increase for 2017 represents an additional $40 per year or $3.33 per month for a home in Vaughan assessed at $667,000.
The City’s total budget for 2017 is $391 million and it includes:
- Operating budget of $277 million – delivers services such as recreation, fire and emergency services, waste collection, snow clearing and community centre operation
- Capital budget of $114 million – funds building and repairing City infrastructure, including roads, pipes, parks and buildings
To support City operations and continued growth, other budget highlights include:
- $8.3 million to facilitate the development of the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre by attracting businesses and amenities to the area
- $9.7 million to support and promote arts, culture, heritage and sports by providing community enrichment through library upgrades, new parks and field improvements
- $3.6 million to improve the municipal road network by working with other levels of government to plan and rehabilitate roads, and facilitating road extensions
- $5.9 million to continue to develop options to get around the city by creating routes for transit, cycling and pedestrian travel
- $16.9 million to continue to cultivate an environmentally sustainable city by furthering initiatives to conserve energy and reduce emissions
- $0.5 million to continue to ensure the safety and well-being of citizens through effective fire and emergency services, by-law and building inspections
- $2.5 million to re-establish the urban tree canopy by continuing to deliver on the Tree Replacement Plan
Property taxes are the primary source of funding for more than 200 of the City’s programs and services including fire and rescue, waste collection, snow removal and recreation programs.
- Citizen engagement is an important component of the budget process and residents were given a variety of opportunities to be involved, including public meetings, social media outreach, an online feedback form and dedicated phone line.
- Residential property taxes are split between Vaughan (28 per cent), York Region (48 per cent), the Province of Ontario (23 per cent for education) and the Hospital Precinct Development Levy (one per cent).
- Commercial property taxes will increase by 2.9 per cent, which means commercial property will increase by $7.18 annually and industrial property will increase by $8.44 annually for each $100,000 of property assessment.
- During the 2015 budget process, Vaughan Council committed that taxes will not increase by more than three per cent each year during this term of Council.
Visit the City of Vaughan’s website at vaughan.ca.