By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express
The finish line on the 2020 budget is still far from sight, but the first details are here.
After crunching the numbers, staff has recommended a 2.16 per cent tax levy increase for 2020.
That increase to the tax levy represents an average tax bill increase of $45.38 on a property assessed at $356,000, the average Oshawa assessment by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation.
Staff from city departments took their turns presenting their budgetary requests for 2020 during a special meeting of council on Nov. 8.
Mayor Dan Carter asked councillors hold off any questions during the meeting, and instead submit them ahead of the next scheduled budget meeting on Friday, Nov. 22.
To get to the proposed 2.16 per cent, commissioner of finance services Stephanie Sinnott said the city requires an additional $3.16 million in tax revenue.
However, the final tax increase, if any, may fluctuate as council is holding a number of upcoming deliberation meetings.
In total, the proposed budget estimates $1,498,600 more for the city in revenues this year versus $4.661 million in increased expenditures.
The proposed budget includes a total of $155,993,057 in expenditures against an estimated $152,830,650 in revenue.
This includes $44.456 million in proposed capital projects.
Park-related projects represent the highest ask at $16.135 million, followed by roads at $4.740 million.
Reserve contributions ($1,228,200) and professional and technical requirements ($1,049,100), as well as salary and benefit increases ($562,200) and debt servicing costs ($765,500) represent some of the increased expenditures for the city.
Sinnot notes the draft budget doesn’t include salary and wage adjustments not yet negotiated and wage adjustments resulting from the three-year council-mandated compensation review.
She also estimated an increase of $708,000 in increased tax revenue and a $1,104,100 million increase to operating revenues.
The City of Oshawa represents 41 per cent of each residents tax bill, while the rest is paid to Durham Region and local school boards.
Deliberations will continue on Friday, Nov. 22, with subsequent meetings on Nov. 29 and Dec. 6, with final approval expected from council on Dec. 13.
For more information on the 2020 budget process visit https://www.oshawa.ca/city-hall/budget.asp