Regional Council Update – January 31, 2019

Welcome to the first, of what will be regular monthly Regional Council updates. Well, it is budget time, not only at Aurora Town Council, but at the Region as well. At Regional Councilthis week we had a presentation by our Commissioner of Finance to kick off the upcoming budget process. The presentation helped outline the current pressures as well as the proposed tax levy.  The 2019 proposed budget includes $2.3 billion in operating costs as well as a proposed tax increase of 3.37% (Regional portion). During the presentation we examined the 10 yr capital plan which currently sits at 6.6 billion and what needs to be done to ensure that the region continues to grow in a positive way.

An interesting portion of the presentation focused on how tax dollars get spent – and specifically whether those tax dollars are spent at the Regional or local level. The attached graphic depicts how every dollar is spent at the Region level,and does give a good summary understanding of how our tax dollars are spent.

I am looking forward to the opportunity to dive into my first budget at the Regional level.  As I believe that we need to provide the best possible services to our community at the best price, I will work throughout the budget process to ensure thatevery dollar that is spent has value to you the residents of Aurora and York Region!!

As we began our initial budget discussions, many around the table felt that a proposed tax levy of 3.37% was unacceptable… And I share my colleagues concerns and the belief that we need to come to the table with some concrete examples of where we can make adjustments and realize efficiencies to reduce the proposed levy. I know that I will bring the same level of in-depth analysis to the Regional Budget as I have to the Town’s Budgets and find savings wherever possible. I am looking forward to beginning the budget at the next Committee of the Whole meeting in February… Now off to go through the Budget binder!!

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