Council this week saw the 2020 operating budget receive unanimous support and final approval.
Beginning last term, and continuing to date through this term, Council has been committed to an efficient budget process; working with and through the Finance Advisory Committee, reviewing departmental budgets on a line by line basis looking for savings wherever possible.
I would therefore like to thank the Finance Advisory Committee along with our new Treasurer as well as all the staff for all their hard work, and in particular, for developing the first multi-year operating budget and ensuring our residents and our Town are well served in a fiscally responsible way.
At the Council meeting this week, Council unanimously approved the first multi-year operating budget covering the 2020, 2021 and 2022 fiscal years. This operating budget includes the first phase-in amount relating to the funding of the estimated annual debt carrying costs for the planned Library Square debenture as well as the budget principles that Council set previously re tax rate increases set at inflation plus 1% (for infrastructure reserves), the result is final budgets of 3.4, 3.4 and 2.9 percent tax increase for each of the next three years on the Aurora share of the tax bill. When combined with the increases for the Region of York and the provincial education portions, the estimated overall tax impact for Aurora residents is 2.5%, 2.6% and 2.4% respectively.
Some of the other funding pressures that have been identified in this multi-year budget are:
- Funding of the inflationary impact on various Town contracts;
- Cost of living adjustments (COLA) and step increases for existing staff;
- The Town’s share of incremental core and growth Central York Fire Services Requirements;
- New staffing requirements driven predominantly by the Town striving to provide the same level of service to a growing community;
- Increased contributions to infrastructure reserves in support of asset management;
- Continued reduction in Town reliance upon development driven revenues;
- All 2020, 2021 and 2022 rates, fees, and charges of the Town have been indexed where permissible by two percent in an effort to offset the estimated inflationary erosion of service delivery costs;
- All revenue estimates have been carefully considered in the context of anticipated service demand for each fiscal year.
While the next two years have been approved, they still allow for Council to make adjustments during the budget process as we continue to look for efficiencies and to remove duplication as we strive to provide the best possible services to the residents of our Town at the best price.
This Council and Staff have worked hard to provide a budget that is balanced. I hope that moving forward we can work with the Provincial and Federal governments to look at how infrastructure shortfalls can be corrected so that Municipalities will not need to cover this through property taxes.
To view the entire 2020 – 2022 multi-year budget please visit: https://www.aurora.ca/TownHall/Pages/Budget%20and%20Financial%20Information/2020-to-2022-Operating-Budget.aspx