budgetOn Monday, Council passed staff’s recommended 2021 Operating and Capital budgets, achieving the direction to keep the overall property tax increase in line with inflation. City staff recommended a budget that results in a 2.76 per cent increase to the municipal portion of the tax bill, for an overall property tax increase of 1.85 per cent when combined with the estimated regional and educational tax levies.

The 2021 increase would see residential property taxes increase by $32.92 per $100,000 of assessment.

“The proposed budget is consistent with Council’s commitment to keeping property taxes in line with inflation,” said Mayor Ian Boddy. “It provides the funds necessary to build and maintain the City’s infrastructure and deliver the services our citizens expect.”

In the City’s 2021 Budget, staff recommended a $39 million Operating Budget that will support the delivery of a wide range of programs and services including maintenance of roads and community facilities, fire services, transit, parks and trails, recreational programming, art, and literature, senior services, library services, police services and a host of other important programs and services.

The 2021 Budget includes $12.9 million dedicated to funding Capital projects which support infrastructure renewal, growth, strategic priorities, and community enhancements. Some of the capital projects for 2021 include concrete and asphalt resurfacing on roads and sidewalks, facility roof replacements, ball diamond, and boat launch building upgrades, Downtown River Precinct phase two design and construction, Downtown street greening initiative, and resurfacing the tennis courts at Harrison Park.

Mayor Boddy notes that the “City favours stability over succumbing to the financial pressures of COVID-19. Despite mounting pressures stemming from COVID – including lost revenue streams and increased safety protocol expenses – staff continue to monitor and adjust effective budgeting to keep the tax increase under three per cent.”

Budgeting for costs incurred due to a pandemic would require an estimated increase to the overall budget that is an additional 3.5 per cent. The City’s stabilized plan helps ensure the longevity of a steady City budget.

The 2021 Budget was presented in conjunction with two communication tools intended to help City residents and taxpayers better understand the breakdown of the budget. The Budget Book is available online at to provide an overview of the Operating and Capital Budget breakdowns, funding sources, and planned projects. An interactive Capital Projects Map can also be found online on the City’s budget page or Users can click on Capital Projects to learn more about their budgets and easily see where in the City they plan to be completed.

"This budget supports our community through the current pandemic and continues to strengthen our City for future growth, connectivity, and fiscal sustainability," says Boddy. "It also ensures that the City’s strong financial position is maintained, and our residents and business owners continue to receive the programs and high-level services they value."

source: media release, City of Owen Sound


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