Council approves tax supported budget
News Release edited by Chris O
The District of Muskoka Council approved the 2023 Tax-Supported Operating Budget this week and the result is tax increase of 4.15%.
What this means for taxpayers is that for every $300,000 of assessed property there will be a levy of $924.68, an increase of $37.08.
“Putting together the Budget is a complex task that requires careful consideration and extensive research,” says District CAO Julie Stevens. “We understand the budget has a profound impact on our community, that’s why we work hard to examine every dollar spent. We strive to make sure this is not just a financial plan – but a blueprint for a prosperous, vibrant and thriving community. The residents of Muskoka deserve nothing less than our best efforts, and we continue to work to ensure our budget reflects that commitment.”
The District’s taxes are collected through the lower-tier municipal property tax bill, which means you make one combined payment of property taxes and the town or township you live in then divvies them up.
“Muskoka District Council has approved a budget that is not just a collection of numbers and figures – but a reflection of our commitment to our community,” says District Chair Jeff Lehman. “I think we’ve struck a balance between our immediate priorities and needs for the future, and actions to tackle the more challenging issues we are facing, such as the housing crisis. District Council is taking some really important steps here to invest in health care capacity, the environment, housing, and other priorities we have heard about from our residents.”
As part of the news release announcing the budget and increase in taxes, the District presented a breakdown of how the money is being spent.
Infrastructure: Investments to Support Safe and Accessible Communities
Infrastructure Investment Highlights:
- $3.8 Million (M) – bridge improvements and rehabilitation work to ensure the safe connection between communities
- $18.4 M – road maintenance and improvement projects to preserve, protect and keep roads safe and to keep Muskoka moving
- $1.6 M – community housing renewal and rehabilitation projects to ensure the ongoing safe operation of our housing units
Health Care: Supporting the Health and Wellbeing of Our Community
Health Care Investment Highlights:
- $94 M – Fairvern Long-Term Care Home transition, “Moving Home” in 2025 to a state-of-the-art 160 bed Home
- $1.4 M – saving to support Hospital redevelopment in Huntsville and Bracebridge
- $5.7 M – new Paramedic Station in West Muskoka
Combatting Homelessness: Muskoka Cares
Homelessness Investment Highlights:
- $573,000 – investment in programs and services to support and address the increase in those experiencing or at risk of homelessness since the start of the pandemic,
- Enhanced collaboration with community organizations and agencies to ensure our vulnerable residents are aware of, and can access available supports and resources
The Environment: The Reason We Live Here
Environment Investment Highlights:
- $781,000 – programming and resources to advance Environmental and Watershed initiatives and various climate actions
- $250,000- additional flood plain mapping to improve flood management response and help everyone understand their flood risk
- Continued support for Muskoka Watershed Council and ongoing support for Integrated Watershed Management initiatives, including various other environmental projects and processes
The District of Muskoka’s 2023 Tax-Supported Budget documents are available online at www.muskoka.on.ca/budgets, including a copy of the presentation and a link to the webcast.