March 12, 2004

Finance and Administration Committee approves reductions to 2004 Regional budget

NEWMARKET York Region's Finance and Administration Committee yesterday recommended endorsement of the 2004 Regional Business Plan and Budget.  Final approval of the $1.7 billion gross expenditure budget will be sought by York Regional Council on Thursday, March 25th, beginning at 9:30 a.m.
The 2004 budget has been re-worked considerably since the draft submission was first presented to Regional Council in January.  The proposed 2004 Regional tax impact has been reduced from 8 per cent to 6.3 per cent representing a savings of 1.7 per cent equivalent to $8.2 million.
"Politicians and staff have done tremendous work reviewing the 2004 budget, and creating significant savings for our taxpayers," said Bill Fisch, Regional Chair and CEO.  "The budget process is a difficult exercise, but a worthwhile one, just the same."
The proposed tax levy impact can be separated in three categories:
 Directed controlled Regional programs 0.9 per cent tax levy impact
 Indirectly controlled Special Purpose Bodies 0.4 per cent tax levy impact
 York Regional Police 5.0 per cent tax levy impact
Based on an average assessed residential property of $332,205, the proposed budget will result in an average household tax increase of $91 or a savings of $25 since the January budget submission.
"The magnitude of the Regional budget, in tandem with initial budget estimates, has made this a lengthy and difficult process," said Town of Markham Mayor Don Cousens, Finance and Administration Committee Chair.  "However, we have made great strides to get to today's recommendations."
With $9.2 million in Regional program savings previously identified, the 2004 budget for directly controlled Regional programs is $607 million.  The following additional savings in directly controlled Regional programs have also been realized in the 2004 budget:
 $1.6 million in program adjustments
 $1.2 million in assessment growth adjustments
 $3 million in GST rebate savings

In indirectly controlled Special Purpose Bodies, the committee also previously approved the York Regional Police Services $145.7 million budget.  This represents $2.7 million in budget reductions from the original York Regional Police submission to Finance and Administration Committee on February 5th.
A $23.8 million budget increase from last year, the police budget represents 5 per cent of the total Regional tax impact.
The remaining 0.4 per cent tax impact stems primarily from GTA Pooling, which has been adjusted by an additional $700,000, for a total of $79.5 million.
Please link here to review 2004 Draft Business Plan and Budget presentations, or view it on our Web site under the News section.
For more information on the Regional Municipality of York, the services we offer and links to our nine area municipalities, please visit our Web site at

Contact:  Patrick Casey, Acting Director, Corporate Communications, York Region
- (905) 830-4444, ext. 1235 or cell (905) 715-8211
- Email:

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:

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

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