While some of us may not think of the 2015 Town Budget as a fascinating topic it is, in a nutshell, an eye-opening snapshot of the estimated revenue and expenses facing the municipality where you live. Even if financials are not your strong suit you can gain a lot of insight in just a couple of hours by attending the Town’s annual Budget Public Consultation Meeting this week on Wednesday evening. The inevitability is that there will be an impact on your wallet and as a resident you deserve to know what value you are receiving for your tax dollars. And to ask questions or make comments if you feel so inclined.
The first draft from the Town’s Finance Department shows an increase, if no additions or deletions are made, of roughly 4.72%. It is important to note that this increase is only on the Town portion of your tax bill. The Town collects taxes for the Region of Peel and the School Boards as well and remits their portions to them. To look at the increase on one portion in isolation without seeing the overall blended rate would be misleading.
The overall blended rate reflects the actual increase on your tax bill from one year to the next. For 2015 while the Town increase currently sits at 4.72% the estimated blended rate is at 2.0%. The following chart from the Town of Caledon shows how Property Taxes increases have looked over the past 10 years.
The Town’s highest increase was in 2009 at 15.7% much higher than the 4.72% presently estimated for this Budget. And the blended rate has been trending downwards from a 2008 high of 5.4% to just 2.4% in 2013 and 2014.
It’s a balancing act to maintain service levels and meet resident needs as Council decides what to add in, or remove from, the Budget, and the outcome will dictate your increase. I hope I’ll see many of you there at 7:00 p.m. on Wed Jan 21st, at Town Hall, 6311 Old Church Road in Caledon East. There is an opportunity for questions and comments from the floor following the presentation. Just sayin’.