Windsor city budget draft has property tax hiked to 5.02%
Windsor City Council will begin deliberating the 2023 budget in a few weeks, but for now the Operating Budget Review Committee (OBRC) has published their recommended budget.
The draft has property taxes at 5.02 per cent, above the previously recommended 4.59 per cent.
Deputy treasurer for the City of Windsor, Tony Ardovini, said the hike is a result of inflation, which has impacted the cost of equipment, fuel, construction and other areas of the budget.
"What we're trying to do is come forward with a responsible budget while maintaining levels of service, reducing where we can any discretionary spending," he said, adding that it is "really difficult to reduce and offset those pressures without reducing levels of service."
Ardovini's most recent report on the budget outlined six main causes for rising costs.
Those six factors total almost $1.9-million dollars in the budget.
Land Ambulance Costs beyond January 2023 Estimate - $858,200
Transit Provincial Gas Tax Funding Reduction for 2023/2024 - $209,322
Cyber Insurance Coverage Increased Cost- $96,480
Engineering Development – Organizational Restructure - $270,994
Per Diem Rate Increase for Residential Services Homes Program - $450,000
BSR Funding for Paul Martin Building Maintenance not to exceed $246,240
Total Budget Levy Impact $1,884,996
Ardovini says that can't be avoided, with many of these city programs being mandatory, but this version of the budget isn't final.
"Between now and the third, we hope to, you know, continue gathering some options for Council and I'm sure they'll have their own review of the budget and provide their own suggested reductions," he said.
If this tax increase goes through, it would be the city's highest increase in nearly two decades
Ardovini says the budget will hopefully not rise any higher than the recommendations published.
"We're hoping if anything it'll come down a little bit, but it's hard to say by how much because a lot of the difficult work has already happened through the operating Budget Review Committee and administration previously to that," he said.
"Most of the reviews have been done, so it's going to be very difficult to reduce it any further."