Bank of Canada’s forecasted inflation front and centre in Oakville’s 2023 budget update

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August 10, 2022 at 4:56 pm

The Town of Oakville is preparing a number of options to stay under the Bank of Canada’s forecasted inflation in 2023.

Council received the town’s 2023 Budget Forecast and Direction report at a meeting on Tuesday night and it highlighted the need to balance the tax increase impact on residents and businesses against the impact on the town’s financial stability and its essential programs and services.

The 2023 budget process is already underway and Budget Committee meetings are set to begin in January.

The report, which is in line with Council direction, uses a guideline for an overall tax increase for 2023 that is in keeping with the Bank of Canada’s 2023 inflation forecast.

Knowing the effects of high inflation, Oakville has always aimed to keep the overall tax increase in line with inflation. However, unlike the past decade where inflation has remained stable, the current economic and inflation environment makes it difficult for the Town to determine what the tax increase should be.

Which is why Town staff is set to prepare a number of reduction options to be considered should the 2023 Budget Committee decide to keep the overall increase at less than forecasted inflation.

“For 15 years Oakville’s performance-based budgeting has kept total property tax increases at or below inflation,” said Oakville Mayor Rob Burton. “Our strong finances place our town in a better fiscal situation than most municipalities.

“Town Council remains committed to keeping Oakville in a strong financial position as we continue to navigate through pandemic recovery while ensuring we remain the most livable and fiscally healthy community in Canada.”

Other significant pressures the 2023 Budget Committee will need to consider include global and domestic pressures impacting inflation, recruitment, staffing, and wages, longer-term COVID impacts, economic uncertainty, as well as uncertainty stemming from provincial funding and planning requirements, and resourcing requirements to support programs and services.

Budget Committee meetings are set to begin in January 2023 with final Council approval expected in late February or early March 2023.

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