Last night, the Town of Aurora officially adopted its budget for 2024. This year’s budget includes a 2.8% increase to the tax levy, along with an additional 1% designated for Capital reserves. The budget is designed to address the community’s needs and make strategic investments in our future, all while avoiding undue strain on residents and businesses grappling with rising costs, spanning groceries, gas, and mortgage payments. And just as these rising costs are being felt by residents, the Town itself must grapple with these rising costs.
I know some ask why any increase? Why can’t we just have a 0% budget?? That’s because, as experience in Aurora will tell you, it would be fiscally irresponsible to do so. A 0% increase might seem appealing, and indeed may be politically expedient, but it merely defers costs to future years, potentially resulting in a substantial, future spike in tax increases for residents. This pattern has been observed in other municipalities and, in fact, we have seen this happen right here in Aurora. Between 1992- 1999, Aurora had a series of 0% budgets, as a result, in subsequent years between 2000 and 2007, Aurora was faced with tax increases of 7, 8 and 9%. Over the last 5 years, we have consistently pursued a balanced approach to the Town’s budget, prioritizing the delivery of the best services at the most reasonable cost, and investing back in our town; thereby ensuring every tax dollar spent has value.
In Aurora, our focus, our commitment through the budgetary process, is to always place the community first; ensuring that the budget not only serves present needs but positions our community favourably for the future. This budget advances many key priorities valued by residents, including the rehabilitation and maintenance of roads and sidewalks, fortification of our world-class recreation programs, parks, and natural spaces, as well as the enhancement of arts and culture offerings. It also underscores our commitment to reinvesting in our community.
Our ongoing efforts are geared towards building a community that stands out as one of the best places to live, work, and play in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). I believe we are on the right path building a growing community in an appropriate, fiscally responsible way. I want to thank residents, business owners, staff, partners, and my Council colleagues for their collaborative efforts in shaping a budget that serves the best interests of all Aurorans. And I am looking forward to another year of getting things done for our remarkable town. #LeadershipThatGetsThingsDone