On December 13, Regional Council approved Halton’s 2018 Budget and Business Plan, establishing our financial roadmap for the coming year. It outlines how we will deliver Regional services and address resident priority areas to support the successful completion of our current Strategic Action Plan.
Delivering value for taxpayers
Halton’s annual budget demonstrates how we continue to succeed by putting residents first. It is an essential part of our annual financial cycle—including planning, performance and reporting—that preserves our strong financial position and AAA credit rating.
The 2018 budget ensures our programs and services provide top value for taxpayers while supporting a high quality of life in Halton for years to come. It focuses on:
- identifying savings and efficiencies while promoting long-term sustainability by reorganizing resources to priority areas;
- maintaining service levels for Regional programs and services; and
- making strategic investments in new and existing community infrastructure.
As always, it is based on prudent, forward-looking financial planning principles, and keeps property tax increases for Regional services at or below the rate of inflation.
- Children’s Services: $9.4 million increase (no net Regional impact) to improve quality, accessibility, affordability, flexibility and inclusivity in licensed child care programs based on Provincial/Federal funding allocated for 2018.
- Comprehensive Housing Strategy: $3.2 million increase (no net Regional impact) to acquire new housing units and provide additional rent supplements for Halton housing clients based on Provincial/Federal funding allocated for 2018.
- Paramedic Services: $1.8 million to address increasing call volumes and maintain existing service levels.
- Roads Capital State-of-Good-Repair: $1.7 million increase ($1.0 million in the operating base budget and $726,000 in Federal Gas Tax funding) to address rising state-of-good-repair needs and updated costs.
- Relief Staff Resources: $835,000 increase for the phase-in of additional casual relief hours required to maintain services levels in Paramedic Services, Services for Seniors and Children’s Services.
- Greenland Securement: $800,000 increase to provide sustainable funding for the Waterfront Master Plan.
- Regional Facilities State-of-Good-Repair: $651,000 increase to support the corporate facilities State-of-Good-Repair capital program.
- Waste Management: $490,000 increase for the inclusion of plastic bags and film in the Blue Box beginning in April 2018.
- Road Maintenance Program: $396,000 increase to support road maintenance contracts with the Local Municipalities and address growth in the Regional road network.
- Halton Region Community Investment Fund: $350,000 to increase the fund’s total annual contribution to $2.4 million to support community initiatives with a focus on health or social services.
- Capacity to Prevent and Address Homelessness: $346,000 increase (no net Regional impact) to help prevent homelessness based on provincial funding allocated for 2018.
- Emerald Ash Borer (EAB): $121,000 increase in operating contributions to the Tax Stabilization reserve in support of the EAB program implementation by Conservation Halton and Credit Valley Conservation.
The 2018 budget includes a 1.9 per cent increase in property taxes for Regional services and a 3.8 per cent increase in the water and wastewater rate to support these actions.
Making community investments for today and tomorrow helps us continue to improve the quality of life in our region. To learn more or view the 2018 Budget and Business Plan, visit halton.ca/budget.
As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at email@example.com. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report”.