Region budget goal is to keep taxes low, services high, for residents of Burlington, Oakville, Milton

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Published July 14, 2023 at 12:56 pm

The blueprint Halton Region will use to keep taxes low for residents of Burlington, Oakville, Milton and Halton Hills has been approved.

Regional Council okayed the Budget Directions Report at its meeting earlier this week. The report lays the foundation for keeping taxes at or below the rate of inflation while investing in critical programs and services that meet the needs of our community.

“The 2024 Budget Directions Report is an important step in our budget development process as it guides our work on the next Budget and Business Plan,” said Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr.

“This report helps us to preserve our strong financial position and keep property taxes low while delivering high-quality programs and services that support all members of the Halton community.”

In order to maintain service levels, the 2024 Budget will address key pressures including reflecting the impacts of high inflationary cost increases, development funding changes as a result of Bill 23, and shortfalls in Provincial funding commitments, particularly for Public Health and Long-Term Care.

Halton’s key priorities for the 2024 Budget and Business Plan include:

  • Public Health – supporting Public Health’s pandemic recovery which includes the revitalization of Public Health services that have been suspended or modified during the pandemic based on emerging community needs.
  • Paramedic Services – enhancing paramedic response times while addressing increased costs associated with inflation, increased call volumes, population and other growth pressures.
  • Delivery of New Assisted Housing Units – investments in rent subsidies and capital reserve contributions to support the delivery of new assisted housing units that will be created through considerable capital housing projects currently under development.
  • Services for Seniors – continuing to increase the direct care hours for residents of the Region’s long-term care homes as part of the Province’s commitment to ensure residents receive, on average, four hours of direct care by 2024-25.
  • Infrastructure and Growth – investments to maintain infrastructure in a state-of-good-repair and to support the acceleration of infrastructure to support growth.
  • Digital Strategy – continuing to invest in expanding the delivery of digital services to the community. This includes investments in digital technology to support decision-making and delivery of the most requested customer-facing services digitally.

Throughout the budget planning process, staff will continue to focus on finding cost efficiencies across all program areas to achieve these targets. The 2024 Budget and Business Plan is scheduled to be reviewed and approved in December.

For more than two decades, Halton has maintained its track record in successfully delivering and enhancing services while keeping tax increases low by identifying savings and reallocating resources to priority areas. The report identifies priority investments in critical services despite significant pressures caused by high inflation and increased demand for services and growth.

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