County Council holds the line on the 2021 budget

budget

Good news for taxpayers in Simcoe County. County ouncil approved the 2021 budget yesterday - with a zero per cent increase in the county portion of property taxes. While expenditures are going up 8 per cent - to a total of 572-million dollars, council approved the use of reserve funds to prevent an increase that could hurt residents and businesses during the pandemic.

The following release was issued by the Office of the Warden and CAO for the County of Simcoe:

On November 24, 2020, County of Simcoe Council approved a $572 million budget for 2021, which focuses on the resources necessary to maintain existing services and address the ongoing needs of the COVID-19 pandemic on our communities. The budget also includes strategic allocations that enables the County to continue to invest in services and assets such as infrastructure, Lake Simcoe Regional Airport, Transit, Paramedic Services, Roads and Engineering, Long-term Care, Children’s Services and Social Housing.

At the direction and approval of County Council, residents will see a 0 per cent increase on the County portion of their municipal property taxes in 2021.

The overall budget expenditures increased from 2020 to 2021. The expenses increased due to COVID-19 pressures and areas of growth and initiatives directed by Council to enhance service levels, increase efficiencies and plan for future growth. To maintain a 0 per cent increase on municipal property taxes for 2021, the County will be utilizing some reserves.

“2020 has been a challenging year for our residents, while most health experts believe that the impacts from the pandemic will continue throughout 2021,” said Warden George Cornell. “County Council is committed to supporting residents by maintaining a 0 per cent increase on our County taxes. We also recognize that many County services are essential services, and the demands for our programs have increased during the pandemic. We commend our staff for identifying innovative and responsible ways to address growth and urgent COVID-19 needs, while ensuring that residents don’t face any additional tax increases from the County level.” 

The County maintains a strong financial position having received, for the seventh year in a row, an AA long-term issuer credit rating from S&P Global Ratings, a provider of high-quality market intelligence in the form of credit ratings and research. The 2021 budget ensures the County continues along this path of long-term fiscal stability and contains items that address areas of growth, as well as initiatives directed by Council to enhance and maintain service levels for the region, support infrastructure, increase efficiencies, and prepare for the future of our region.

2021 Budget Highlights include:                                                                                        

Total County Expenditures for 2021: $572 million:

  • LTC - Homes and Seniors Services $78 million
  • Paramedic Services $56 million
  • Children Services $49 million
  • Social Housing $69 million
  • Ontario Works $79 million
  • Transportation and Engineering $48 million
  • Solid Waste Management $94 million

Attached to this news release is the 2021 County of Simcoe Budget Overview.

County of Simcoe is composed of sixteen member municipalities and provides crucial public services to County residents in addition to providing paramedic and social services to the separated cities of Barrie and Orillia. Visit our website at simcoe.ca.

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