2017 Budget delivers investments and value for taxpayer dollars

Investments in state of good repair infrastructure, Paramedic Services and new Long-Term Water Meter Strategy among highlights

On December 14, 2016, Regional Council approved the 2017 Budget and Business Plan, maintaining service levels in the community while making strategic investments and keeping the tax rate increase for Regional services within the rate of inflation.

Ensuring value for taxpayer dollars and protecting Halton’s strong long-term financial position are the focus as we prepare our annual budget. Our goal at Halton Region is to deliver a budget that will keep taxes at or below the rate of inflation while maintaining our AAA credit rating and financial sustainability.

The budget, our financial plan for 2017, outlines the implementation of key priorities in the Halton Region Strategic Action Plan 2015-2018 and includes strategic investments in essential areas such as state of good repair for infrastructure, affordable and assisted housing, Paramedic Services and the Halton Region Community Investment Fund.

Additional investments are also included to support the implementation a Long-term Water Meter Strategy and the next stages of implementation in various Regional Waterfront Master Plans. These investments will all contribute to preserving the high quality of life in Halton. The 2017 Budget includes a 1.9 per cent increase in property taxes for Regional services and programs, and a 5.1 per cent increase in the water and wastewater rate.

Highlights in the 2017 Budget include:

  • increased funding for Paramedic Service resources for the new East Milton station as part of the Paramedic Services Master Plan implementation;
  • funding to implement new governance arrangements with the Oakville Seniors Citizen’s Residence;
  • increased funding for non-profit organizations in Halton through the Halton Region Community Investment Fund;
  • additional funding for the Waterfront Master Plans implementation;
  • increased funding to provide housing subsidies for survivors of domestic violence, help prevent homelessness, and provide more assisted housing stock and rental assistance in Halton Region;
  • adjustments to rate revenue and structure to ensure financial sustainability for investments and to promote fairness in revenue collection and water conservation; and
  • funding for a Long-term Water Meter Strategy to accelerate water meter replacement to ensure more accurate water bills and to develop a strategy to support radio frequency reading technology in the future.

Investing for today and tomorrow is an important part of our financial success at Halton. Our forward-looking budgetary practices and sound financial management help us keep Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

The 2017 Budget and Business Plan can be viewed online at 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 gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or on Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report”.