Jan. 16, 2023 – With the City utilizing mitigation measures to reduce tax rate impacts of external financial pressures on the 2023 Budget, important investments into infrastructure, facilities, and public safety will be able to continue.
City Council finalized the 2023 Operating, Capital, and Reserves Budgets on Monday, Jan. 16, including a 2.9 per cent increase to the City portion of property taxes. The City faced several external pressures in development of the budget, most notably the impacts of continued high inflation, rising insurance costs, and an 11.5 per cent increase to the Police Services Budget to support crime prevention and public safety efforts.
“We’re focussing on value and affordability for residents, ensuring critical investments into infrastructure and improvements to community spaces move forward while mitigating tax rate increases where we can,” said City Treasurer Jane Qi, adding, “we’ve used all available measures to reduce the tax rate impact while still driving ongoing investments into taxpayer-owned assets such as infrastructure and facilities.”
To mitigate tax rate increases several efforts were made to reduce the budget without impacting service levels. These measures include a $2.94 million transfer from the Operating Contingency Reserve; a $1.45 million, one-time reduction in contributions to the WSIB Reserve; and an approximately $2 million, one-time deferral of contributions to the Capital Infrastructure Reserve
Those mitigation efforts, alongside Council-directed modifications, reduced a potential 13.34 per cent increase to the City portion of property taxes, down to a 2.9 per cent increase. The changes will see owners of a home valued at $100,000 by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation paying $979 in 2023, a $31 increase for the year.
The 2023 Capital Budget outlines $43.52 million in capital investments, including roads, water infrastructure, and facilities; continuing an aggressive plan for infrastructure renewal.
Capital projects for 2023 include:
- $3.5 million for road rehabilitation;
- $2.08 million to complete phase two of Plank Road rehabilitation;
- $7.82 million in combined sewer separation to reduce impacts of storm water on sanitary sewer systems;
- $2 million for shoreline protection;
- $3.2 million in watermain replacement;
- $1 million for flood mitigation;
- $1.6 million for improvements to the Progressive Auto Sales Arena including phase three of ongoing roof replacement, a new gender-neutral dressing room, and rubber flooring replacement;
- $90,000 for replacement of the bleachers at Norm Perry Park;
- $550,000 for Tecumseh Park improvements including redevelopment of the ball diamond alongside expansion and replacement of the park’s path system;
- $300,000 for playground equipment replacement at several City parks; and
- $335,000 for active transportation projects.
Water and sewer rates will see a combined increase of 7.64 per cent to accommodate increases in the City’s share of Lambton Area Water Supply System while still driving capital spending to facilitate flood mitigation and address infrastructure backlogs. Increases will apply to variable water rates and the sewer surcharge, with decreases to some fixed rate classes.
For more information please visit our 2023 Budgets Page. Please note budget documents may not be updated from their original drafts at this point.