February 20, 2003

York Regional Council approves $1.4 billion 2003 Business Plan and Budget

NEWMARKET York Regional Council today approved its 2003 Business Plan and Budget that includes $160 million of total net expenditures to finance critical police, transit and solid waste needs. This represents a total increase of nearly $29 million for these three important programs from 2002.

The $1.4 billion gross expenditure budget targets a 5.7 per cent increase in the tax levy to fund these operations.

"In a fast growing municipality such as York Region, citizens expect key services and major infrastructure to keep pace to ensure our quality of life," said Bill Fisch, Regional Chair and CEO. "This budget does just that by focusing on major areas of public interest police and safety, transportation and transit, and waste disposal and diversion throughout our Region."

Following $7 million (1 per cent) in program savings, the key tax impacts for 2003 after assessment growth include:

"This is truly a community building budget that reflects Vision 2026's goal of creating safe, strong, caring communities, and helps meet the needs of the more than 830,000 people who call York Region home," said Aurora Mayor Tim Jones, Chair of the Finance and Administration Committee. "As our Region grows and matures, our service levels, programs and associated costs are equally affected."

The 2003 Business Plan and Budget includes $697.5 million in capital programs and $727.4 million in operating programs. The tax levy contribution accounts for $468 million. Following a review of the York Regional Police Services budget request and budget reviews of all York Region standing committees, the tax levy increase was reduced by one-half a percentage point.

The average household tax increase will be between $70 to $80 based on an average assessed value of $287,600, pending final assessment rates.

"We are in a constant search for efficiencies within our Regional departments," said Michael Garrett, Chief Administrative Officer, York Region. "With more than $7 million in program savings and rationalizations, we have done a tremendous job in this important area. That will continue as we forge ahead with significant performance measures and benchmarking programs."

Other gross expenditure highlights of the 2003 Business Plan and Budget include:

To review an executive summary of the 2003 Business Plan and Budget and a Fact Sheet on how the Regional tax dollar is spent, or for more information on the Regional Municipality of York, please visit our Web site at www.region.york.on.ca



February 20, 2003 How is your Regional tax dollar spent?

The following is a breakdown on how one Regional tax dollar is spent:

Police Services $ 0.27

GTA Pooling $ 0.17

Regional Roads $ 0.10

Transit $ 0.08

Social Housing $ 0.08

Social Assistance $ 0.07

Emergency Medical Services $ 0.04

Conservation Authorities / MPAC / GO $ 0.04

Solid Waste $ 0.03

Public Health $ 0.03

Family & Children's Services $ 0.02

Hospital Capital $ 0.02

Administrative Support $ 0.02

Long Term Care $ 0.01

Planning & Development Services $ 0.01

Emergency Services / 9-1-1 $ 0.01

Average York Region Tax Dollar $ 1.00





The Regional Municipality of York is committed to providing cost-effective, quality services that respond to the needs of our rapidly growing communities.  York Region is comprised of the following nine area municipalities:  Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King, Markham, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Vaughan and Whitchurch-Stouffville.  For more information, visit our Web site at:  www.region.york.on.ca

Contact: Patrick Casey, Senior Media Relations Specialist, York Region

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