Regional Council sets 2008 Budget Directions

Regional Council sets 2008 Budget Directions

Please note: The halton.ca website was redesigned in February 2010 which has caused many of the links within the archived 2009 media releases to no longer function.


Release Date: Jul 16, 2007

At its meeting on Wednesday, July 11, Halton Regional Council approved the guidelines for the preparation of the 2008 Budget and Business Plan. Council directed that the guideline for the Tax Budget should not exceed an increase of 2.9 per cent (excluding Police Services).

For a typical homeowner with a property assessed at $300,000, this would mean a property tax increase of approximately $24.54 for Regional services (or $8.18 per $100,000 of assessment). The guideline for the Police services tax increase is 6.2 per cent, or $25.16 for the typical household. The total projected tax impact for Regional and Police services would be 4.0 per cent or $49.70 for a typical household.

"The 2008 Budget guidelines give us a framework to provide programs and services to Halton's taxpayers in 2008 while we look for more ways to improve cost-effectiveness and cooperation between levels of government," said Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr. "Staff have prepared the guidelines based on known economic conditions and pressures, although there is still a lot of work and consultation to do before the budget is approved in December."

Regional programs that require a base budget increase include the following:

  • Social Service Program Payments: $930,000 in additional funds to respond to pressures relating to the cost-shared Ontario Disability Support Program and additional funding to Social Housing Providers.
  • Waste Management Operations: $4,000,000 largely related to accelerating the implementation of the GreenCart organics program.
  • Debt Charges: $551,000 related to increased debt charges primarily for the transportation program. Debt charges are the principal and interest payments that the Region needs to pay for the funds borrowed to finance significant infrastructure.
  • Transportation Capital: $4,500,000 to realign the Budget with the 2004 Transportation Master Plan.

The 2008 Budget process will also address other program pressures to meet service demands and implement new initiatives identified in the Region’s Strategic Plan. These include: Health program delivery; EMS Master Plan implementation; Social Services program delivery; Comprehensive Housing Strategy implementation; Sustainable Halton, a planning process to determine how and where Halton will grow in the future; and the Economic Development Strategy.

"Halton needs to address various cost pressures, including increased costs of oil, hydro and natural gas, and the impacts of updates to our master plans, which will be incorporated into the budget process as appropriate," said Halton's Acting Chief Administrative Officer Jane MacCaskill. "The next step is for staff to prepare operating and capital budgets based on input from Regional departments, with the budget being considered by Council throughout November and December."

Council has directed that $6.1 million in available funding resulting from the phase-out of GTA Pooling be transferred to the Local Municipalities on a one-year basis to address their infrastructure requirements, and that the Region reinvest the balance (approximately $6 million) to fund Regional requirements. GTA Pooling was a Provincial funding formula by which Halton and other GTA Regions contributed funds for Social Service costs in the City of Toronto. The Ontario government has committed to eliminating GTA Pooling by 2013.

The base budget guideline for the Rate Budget for water and wastewater services is 6.5 per cent, which reflects cost increases in consumable items such as chemicals and hydro, to meet Provincial standards, additional capital financing requirements and impacts from the Tangible Capital Assets Project. If approved, the typical homeowner’s annual combined water and wastewater bill would increase by approximately $43.86.

For more information about the 2008 Budget, visit Halton Region’s website at www.halton.ca or call 905-825-6000, toll free 1-866-4HALTON or TTY 905-825-9833.

The Regional Municipality of Halton serves more than 400,000 residents in the City of Burlington, the Town of Halton Hills, the Town of Milton and the Town of Oakville. Halton Region is committed to meeting the needs of its residents through the delivery of cost-effective, quality programs and services, including water and wastewater; Regional roads and planning; ambulance; waste management; public health; Ontario Works (formerly social assistance); children’s and seniors’ services; social/non-profit housing; heritage programs; emergency management and business development.

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Media Contact:
Mark Scinocca
Acting Commissioner of Corporate Services
Halton Region
905-825-6000 ext. 7043
mark.scinocca@halton.ca

or

Maria McDonald
Communications Specialist, Community Relations
Halton Region
905-825-6000, ext. 7482
maria.mcdonald@halton.ca