It’s Budget Time…

Well it is budget time again. And this year is different compared to many previous years’ budgets before Council for deliberation.   In the face of a strained Provincial budget, coupled with several downloads from the Province, municipalities have been asked to find 4% in their budgets to become “more efficient”.   This will be a difficult process for communities across Ontario.

I understand there are concerns that the only way to handle the downloads is to cut services or raise taxes; however, I believe that we can find efficiencies within the budget and work to minimize any potential impacts.

Aurora Town Council has worked hard to be fiscally responsible.  Through the work of the Finance Advisory Committee we developed a budget policy that limited any increase to our tax levy to inflation +1%. This policy has allowed Council and the public to know exactly what will be coming and not worry that there will be fluctuations in the tax rate. This has created a budget that is clear, concise and consistent.

Over the coming weeks and months Council and staff will be working to ensure that any savings that could be achieved will be identified and brought to the table for discussion. To minimize the need for cuts or service reductions, we will work to find operational efficiencies by reducing duplication; ensuring we don’t spend money twice for essentially the same thing.

The interesting thing about municipal budgets is that, unlike our Provincial and Federal counterparts, we are the only level of government that has a balanced budget year after year.

As we enter budget deliberations – our Town is in a very healthy position. However, to minimize any potential impact to our services and/or the tax levy due to the Provincial downloads we will need to take a serious look at what is a need and what is a want and eliminate duplications …. And this will ensure a budget that provides the best services that residents expect, at the best price.

I am confident that this Council will once again deliver a budget that is balanced, and a tax rate that will follow the budget principles that Council has set forth of inflation +1% 

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