Lincoln approves this year’s operating budget and announces a hiring freeze

Lincoln residents will pay roughly $417.25 more on their tax bill in 2023.

The town has approved its 2023 operating budget, which includes a 7.58 per cent increase and accounts for $132.82 of the overall increase for homeowners.

Altogether, taxpayers will see an annual increase of $417.25 annually on a residential assessment valued at $500,000. That translates to approximately $8.02 per week, $34.77 per month $1.14 per day. It’s the result of the 6.44 per cent blended rate — which combines the local, regional and education portions of the tax bill.

The proposed budget for the Town of Lincoln includes a 1.3 per cent increase in the capital levy and a 6.2 per cent increase in operating costs. The capital budget includes funding for several projects, including shoreline and climate change protection efforts in areas like Lakeshore Road, reconstruction and upgrades to Durham Road, Lincoln Avenue and Greenlane Road, King Street road reconstruction in Vineland, a truck bypass camera-monitoring pilot, and a Jordan Lions Park Master Plan and Renewal.

The Town of Lincoln is only responsible for approximately 37 per cent of the overall tax bill, the impact on Lincoln's residents will be an overall increase of 2.77 per cent.

The property tax pie in Lincoln is split in three — the Town of Lincoln, the Niagara Region, and the school boards. Niagara Region accounts for 51 per cent and education for the remaining 12 per cent.

In a news release, Mayor Sandra Easton said a municipal budget needs to “go beyond the numbers and understand community health and well-being” and she believes the town’s 2023 budget has achieved this goal.

“Council recognizes the importance of having the budget reflect the needs of our community, while remaining respectful of taxpayer dollars,” Easton said.

The budget approval also includes a hiring freeze for 2023, which the mayor said will help keep staff costs “in line with the overall goal of maintaining a budget that balances affordability while delivering on the high-quality services” residents expect.

"In addition, including a motion calling for the investigation of additional opportunities for shared services with other local area municipalities in Niagara, will allow us to find efficiencies while continuing to lead the way in service delivery,” Easton added.

The budget was ratified by council on Monday night.

Beatriz Baleeiro, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grimsby Lincoln News