Last night, Town Council unanimously approved Oakville’s 2021 operating budget of $348.3 million and capital budget of $80.9 million, which will deliver town services for residents and businesses.
While the budget invests in a number of Council-approved strategic priorities, it will also ensure the town’s long-term fiscal sustainability.
Both the combined operating and capital budgets result in a 2.29 per cent increase to the town’s portion of the tax bill, for an overall property tax increase of 1.63 per cent when combined with the estimated regional and educational tax levies.
The 1.63 per cent increase would see residential property taxes increase by $11.57 per $100,000 of assessment.
This indicates that the owner of a home assessed at $800,000 would pay an additional $92.59 per year or $1.78 per week.
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“Yesterday’s approval of the 2021 Budget represents our commitment in keeping Oakville as one of the most livable and fiscally healthy communities in Canada,” said Oakville Mayor Rob Burton.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many challenges, and town staff and Council have worked together to create a fiscally responsible budget that is in line with inflation. I’d like to thank everyone for their dedication and hard work in order to help move the town forward during the pandemic.”
Staff project that the impact on program budgets is in the range of $17 million, particularly in transit, recreation, parking and sport field rental revenues based on assumptions of how the COVID-19 pandemic may continue to affect operations.
Additionally, Council approved one-time budget reductions of approximately $10 million to help mitigate the impacts of the pandemic.
As a result of COVID-19, the budget reductions are also temporary in light of the service delivery constraints expected in 2021.
A transfer from the Tax Stabilization reserve of $3.4 million has also been used in order to meet Council’s direction to keep the overall tax increase in line with inflation.
Aligning with the town’s 2019-2022 Strategic Plan, key priorities in the 2021 Budget include full-year funding for the operation of the new Oakville Trafalgar Community Centre, Fire Station 8 near Dundas Street and Bronte Road, the opening of various new parks, parkettes and trails and new software enhancements related to online services.
“Developing an annual budget always has its challenges, but this year proved to be exceptional due to the financial impacts stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Ward 6 Councillor and Budget Committee Chair Tom Adams.
“We have had to navigate changes and adjust course, but were able to meet all of Council’s guidelines while identifying solutions with the best interest of our residents in mind. Public input was a very important part of the budget process and it was important to work together to provide stability to the community even as we adapt to the challenges before us.”
The Town of Oakville promoted a number of opportunities throughout the year to encourage public engagement and received resident input into the 2021 budget through virtual meetings and a virtual open house.
For more information on the 2021 Budget and to view all final budget documents, please visit the 2021 Budget page.