cover of budget document

The Town of Orangeville’s 2021 budget was approved at the February 2nd meeting of Orangeville Council, with a 0.97 percent (or $356,417) increase to the net tax levy of $36.9 million.

Each year, Council and municipal staff work to balance the cost of providing Town services with existing resources. The consolidated budget of approximately $70 million requires $37.4 million in net tax levy before assessment growth. This represents a $839,775 (2.29 percent) increase from the 2020 levy requirement. Factoring in real assessment growth from 2020 of 1.32 percent (or $356,417), the net levy requirement for the 2021 consolidated budget is $36,974,414 which equates to 0.97% increase from 2020.

“A municipality is a business -- delivering many services to many customers – with expenses, revenues, and a multi-million dollar budget just like any other corporation,” said Mayor Sandy Brown. “To come in with a tax levy increase under one percent at any time is obviously a good thing, let alone while dealing with a global pandemic. Being able to maintain the current service level, renew some infrastructure, and plan for the future is quite a feat and I want to thank my colleagues and staff for delivering a sound and reasonable budget.”

“There are so many reasons I am proud of this historical budget document,” said Treasurer Nandini Syed. “It’s my first virtual budget, first budget against the back-drop of a global pandemic, the lowest levy increase under highest revenue loss pressure from other sources due to COVID-19. I am most proud of the fact that I was able to build a sustainable financial road map for a community that I have the privilege to serve alongside one of the most dedicated team of colleagues I have come to regard as my work family.”

The 2021 budget does not alter the base budget due to COVID-19. Those changes are being accommodated by expense mitigation strategies, shifting work plan priorities, and temporary reductions in service to offset revenue loss. Funds received through the Safe Restart Funding for both the operating stream and transit stream, in 2020, have mitigated in-year deficits leaving the Town’s contingency reserves intact for the long-term recovery period.

The 2021 budget maintains an essential service level and a $2.6 million tax-funded capital planning commitment. Other highlights include the implementation of an asset management program, enhancing Service Orangeville, continuing to expand online services, and modernizing internal systems and infrastructure.

Key capital projects included in the $47.6 million capital budget are:

  • initial funding for a fire station replacement
  • replacement of a fire pumper/rescue vehicle
  • development of a community improvement plan
  • lap pool liner replacement at Alder Recreation Centre
  • continued trail development
  • a new boardwalk at Dragonfly Park
  • electric vehicle charging stations for fleet vehicles
  • repaving of Cotton Lane and Bredin Parkway
  • reconstruction of Centennial Road & Church Street
  • traffic signal upgrades (First St./Elizabeth St. & First St./Fairgrounds Plaza)
  • design and construction of bridge over Lower Monora Creek to accommodate extension of Hansen Boulevard
  • two new transit buses & new transfer station

During recent discussions, Orangeville Council added a guiderail project for Rolling Hills Drive/McCannell Avenue curve, $25,000 for new speed limit signs, $87,000 for the installation of protected left-turn traffic signals at two intersections on Riddell Road and to investigate the construction of a section of sidewalk from ODSS to the intersection of Northgate Drive and Forest Park Road. 

With the 2021 budget, the Town is moving towards a performance-based budgeting model, under which the impact and outcome of new projects will be critical in their evaluation. The goal of a performance-based budget is to make the best financial decisions for the allocation of resources by reviewing the operational efficiency of projects.

Also, of note this year, is the assessment freeze for the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation. The Ontario Government announced, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that the 2020 assessment update was postponed. Property assessments for the 2021 taxation year will continue to be based on the fully phased-in January 1, 2016 current values (i.e., the same valuation date in use for the 2020 taxation year).