Niagara Regional Council has approved a budget for 2019 that will result in an overall property tax increase of 3.8 per cent in 2019.
Challenged with aging infrastructure and increased demands related to growth, this budget focuses on funding programs and services that are priorities for Council and residents, while limiting the impact on taxpayers.
For the average property assessed at $267,711, the Regional portion of the tax bill will increase by $56 in 2019, totalling $1,517 a year.
Niagara Region's budget has three components: the operating budget, the capital budget and the rates programs.
To position Niagara on the best possible course for future success, Regional Council approved a $274 million capital program for 2019 that includes a number of significant projects aimed at facilitating growth and attracting employment, as well as upgrades to critical infrastructure through the Region’s Asset Management Plan.
The operating budget for 2019 has been approved with a tax levy of $365.7 million and will provide funding for the daily business of the Niagara Region, its boards and agencies. It will also pay for investments that support economic prosperity, quality of life and help protect our natural environment.
That means Niagara Region can grow its transit service. The 2019 budget includes a separate 1.4 per cent levy for Niagara Regional Transit enhancements. Other strategic initiatives included in the operating budget are:
- Asset Management governance
- Funding for development charge grants
- Emergency management psychological resources
- Enhanced funding for infrastructure renewal
Niagara Region Council also approved a combined operating rate budget increase of 5.1 per cent for water and wastewater services. The budget for waste management services which includes, curbside collection, recycling and landfill sites will see an increase of 2.1 per cent.
The rate increase for water and waste water allows the regional municipality to make strategic investments in critical infrastructure and continue to provide safe drinking water.
Some of the 2019 budget investments include:
- $13.9 million Niagara Regional Transit enhancements including 13 new buses
- $16.1 million Martindale Road Reconstruction
- $6.0 million Thorold Stone Road Extension
- $10 million Casablanca Boulevard Widening
- $11.5 million Grimsby Water Treatment Plant System Storage
- $21 million Decew Water Treatment Plant Upgrade
- $5.8 million Dain City Pumping Station
- $10.8 million Niagara Regional Housing Building and Unit Capital Investments
- $12 million NOTL Lagoon Decommissioning
- $8.8 million Roads repair
"Niagara Region is investing in the future. This budget reflects Regional Council’s commitment to enhancing services that matter to our citizens, such as transit, while also ensuring that critical infrastructure such as roads, bridges and our water and waste water facilities are kept in a state of good repair. This budget focuses on continuing to deliver high-quality service and securing a stronger future for our residents." ~ Jim Bradley, Regional Chair
"Throughout this entire process, Council and staff worked collaboratively to ensure the 2019 budget meets the expectations of our residents for high quality services and programs while also taking into account that the Region must invest for long-term impact. This budget starts to address some of the financial challenges the Region will face in years to come." ~ Gary Zalepa, Regional Councillor and Budget Chair
905-980-6000 ext. 3747