January 28, 2008

2008 Draft Operating Business Plan and Budget tabled at York Regional Council

 

Regional Council inviting public input on Budget and allocation of GTA Pooling savings

 

NEWMARKET –The Regional Municipality of York’s draft $1.3 billion Operating Business Plan and Budget for 2008 was tabled at York Regional Council and includes numerous growth and service enhancements, including for York Regional Police, Transit, Water/Wastewater and Solid Waste management.

 

“Our draft 2008 Operating Business Plan and Budget, combined with our 2008 Capital Budget, ensures York Region residents and businesses will continue to receive high quality services for their tax dollars,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch.  “We will examine the Operating Budget over the next two months for additional savings, including the allocation of savings from GTA Pooling dollars.  And we invite input from the public as we move forward in this process.”

 

“The draft Operating Budget provides the basis of a fiscally responsible plan that takes into account the Region’s budgetary pressures and the growing demand for Regional services,” added Town of Newmarket Mayor Tony Van Bynen, Chair of the Region’s Finance and Administration Committee.  “I commend Regional staff for their hard work and commitment on the Budget.”

 

The draft 2008 budget proposes a six per cent tax levy increase representing a $109 increase for taxpayers owning a home with an average assessed value of $371,000.

 

The proposed tax levy increase is a result of additional costs to pay for existing services.  York Region’s budgetary pressures include the following:

 

$20.8 million for Base Budget:

·         Salaries and Benefits

·         Contracted Services

 

$1.4 million for Mandatory/Legislated Costs:

·         Social/Non Profit Housing

·         Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC)

·         Staffing of Court Services

 

$9.2 million for Growth-Related Costs:

·         Additional York Regional Police officers and support

·         Transit (Viva/YRT) service expansion

·         Additional Public Health staffing

·         Additional Paramedics for York Region Emergency Medical Services (EMS)

·         Additional Transit fare enforcement officers

·         Growth of Solid Waste Management services

 

$7 million for Annualizations (full-year program costs from 2007):

·         York Regional Police staffing

·         Source Separated Organics (Green Bin) program

 

$19.4 million for Program Enhancements:

·         Additional York Regional Police officers and support

·         Contributions to capital and capital asset replacement

·         Increased Community Development Investment funding

·         Construction of a Community Environmental Centre in the City of Vaughan

·         Additional Emergency 9-1-1 call takers

 

The 2008 Operating Business Plan and Budget will be forwarded to the following York Regional Standing Committees in February:

 

Standing Committee

Date

Time

·         Transportation and Works

Wednesday, February 6th

9 a.m.

·         Planning and Economic Development

Wednesday, February 6th

1 p.m.

·         Finance and Administration

(including York Regional Police and Corporate Services)

Thursday, February 7th

9 a.m.

·         Health and EMS

Thursday, February 7th

2 p.m.

·         Solid Waste

Wednesday, February 13th

9 a.m.

·         Community Services and Housing

Wednesday, February 13th

2 p.m.

·         Transit (Viva and YRT)

Thursday, February 14th

11 a.m.

                             

A workshop will be held Thursday, February 28th to solicit input from the public on the draft Operating Budget and examine options for allocating the $13.3 million in GTA Pooling savings for 2008.  The workshop will be held in the Seminar Room of the York Region Administrative Centre in the Town of Newmarket, and begins at 9:30 a.m.

 

Following consideration at Standing Committees and the public workshop, the draft 2008 Operating Business Plan and Budget will be forwarded to York Region’s Finance and Administration Committee on Thursday, March 6th, with anticipated approval by Regional Council on Thursday, March 27th.

 

Options for this year’s GTA Pooling savings of $13.3 million include reducing the tax levy increase by up to two per cent, spending on capital asset replacement, program spending or a combination of all of these.

 

GTA Pooling is money collected by York, Peel and Halton Regions to assist the City of Toronto pay for its Social Housing and Social Assistance programs.  The Province has announced the program will be phased out completely by 2013 with the Region’s payments reduced annually.

 

York Regional Council approved a $682 million Capital Business Plan and Budget for 2008 in December 2007.

 

For more information on The Regional Municipality of York, please visit www.york.ca

 

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Media Contact:         Ken Turriff, Corporate Communications, York Region

                                 Phone: (905) 830-4444 / toll-free 1-877-464-9675, Ext. 1226

                                 Cell: (905) 251-6415 / Email: ken.turriff@york.ca

 
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