The i’s have been dotted and the t’s are crossed for Oshawa residents as City Council approves a 2022 budget that calls for a 1.85 per cent increase to the tax levy.
This represents an increase to the Oshawa portion of the residential tax bill of approximately $37.37 (or $3.11 per month) on a property assessed at $356.
The increase on the Oshawa portion of the total tax bill is just 0.805%. This will be combined with the Region of Durham’s budget outcome (which will be determined in early 2022) to finalize the tax levies for 2022.
According to a press release from the City, the budget is reflective of the continued impact on municipal finances, including lost revenues and unavoidable costs related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Where possible, these impacts have been offset through cost containment mitigation measures and using the Federal-Provincial Safe Restart Funds.
“The 2022 budget provides a balanced approach to our growing City’s needs while enabling us to strengthen our programs, services and infrastructure and we continue to look forward to building a more sustainable community,” said Mayor Dan Carter. “I appreciate the feedback provided by community members; the valuable input of City staff and the collaborative efforts of Council in delivering this budget.”
This year’s budget was able to maintain the base levels of service (some service levels were reduced in 2021 to comply with Provincial orders); and address volume growth while considering inflationary increases, contractual labour increases and various continuous improvement initiatives.
The 2022 budget is comprised of two components: operating and capital. The operating budget covers the costs of delivering services to the community, including snow removal, waste collection, fire services, recreation programs and the ongoing maintenance of 711 kilometres of sidewalks, 603 kilometres of roads and 1,400+ acres of parks and open space.
Playgrounds, parks, recreation trails, splash pads, sports fields and 23 community facilities are also on the list, as well as more than 51,000 households receiving curbside collection of garbage, green bin and recycling.
The budget also includes funding for agencies such as the Oshawa Public Libraries and the Oshawa Senior Community Centres.
“The 2022 capital and operating budget was a vigorous process with Council keeping the tax increase below the rate of inflation. In fact, every budget during this term of Council has come in below inflation,” said Councillor John Gray, Chair of the Finance Committee.
The 2022 capital budget portion of $33.75 million takes care of infrastructure improvements infrastructure including roads, bridges, other core City assets and growth-related resources. Also included are approximately $8.4 million in projects specifically for City parks and trails. The 2022 capital budget is in addition to the $15.6 million in capital projects that were advanced throughout 2021 over and above the 2021 capital budget.
The 2022 capital budget supports the green economy through electrical vehicle charging station installations at various City facilities, replacement of mechanical equipment to more energy efficient systems and an upgrade to the lighting program system at the Delpark Homes Centre.
“Our 2022 budget is now complete and offers exciting new projects for our community, professional staff providing exceptional services and an affordable tax impact well under the rate of inflation,” said Councillor Brian Nicholson, Vice Chair of the Finance Committee.
The City of Oshawa is part of a two-tier government system. It collects property taxes on behalf of the City, the Regional Municipality of Durham and the Province for local school boards. Approximately 41 cents is distributed to the Region and 18 cents to local school boards – the City keeps only 41 cents for every dollar collected.
The approved 2022 City Budget will be available online in the coming weeks on the City Budget webpage at Oshawa.ca/budget.