Wainfleet, ON – Wainfleet Council passed its 2023 municipal budget at their regular meeting held last night.
While several previous budget cycles focussed on the realities of debt management and addressing the ever-expanding infrastructure gap faced by Ontario municipalities, the current Wainfleet Council has positioned the municipality to meet the Township’s budgetary needs with very modest, and targeted, increases.
“There has been a great deal of heavy lifting done by the past Councils to catch up with where the Township needed to get to,” said Wainfleet Mayor Brian Grant. “While I can understand this approach, and I know that there is still more to do, I can say that Council also understands the need to maintain balance and knows when to ease up during what are very challenging times for many residents.”
The off-loading of provincial responsibilities from the Ontario government to municipal governments in the late 1990’s has meant increased responsibilities, for infrastructure, like roads, buildings and bridges; over 140 different pieces of statutory legislation, as well as ever increasing service demands from residents.
These realities, combined with the political trend towards artificially low tax rates, or even zero tax increases, over the last several decades resulted in crumbling infrastructure, chronic understaffing, and increased liability. This, when viewed through the lens of rising construction costs, record inflation levels and a looming recession has meant that attempts to meet the legislative requirements or close the infrastructure gap have often been extremely challenging at best. This is especially true for smaller municipalities, and Wainfleet more than most, whose lack of sewage or water amenities have hampered the kind of commercial or industrial properties that would help to bolster the tax base, help to off-set the high proportion of agricultural rate-payers (who only pay 25% of the residential rate under provincial law) and reduce the burden on the residential rate payers.
“The relationship between meeting infrastructure needs, maintaining assets and building for the future is certainly a delicate one, especially in a municipal setting where ultimately, the levy is the primary source of revenue to accomplish all that needs to be done,” said Wainfleet Treasurer Mallory Luey.
“All members of Council have taken the time and dedicated themselves to talking with their fellow residents to find the very best balance we can financially for the Township, while respecting the needs and realities of families in our community,” said Mayor Grant. “There is no easy way to do this, but we are deliberating carefully, debating fully and bringing our experience as Wainfleet residents to the table during this budget process.”
The 2023 Budget approved by Wainfleet Council includes a tax levy requirement of $6,175,639 for local operating requirements, a $1,273,887 infrastructure levy, and a $872,655 capital levy.
The combined Township of Wainfleet municipal rate will mean an increase of about $0.35 cents per day in property taxes for the average residential home assessed at $320,000. This amounts to $129.98 over the course of the year – a 5.45% increase versus 2022. This tax levy change closely correlates to the 5.2% increase in Canadian consumer prices, year over year, announced by Statistics Canada on March 21, 2023.1
This increase is for the Wainfleet portion of the property tax bill. Property taxes also include a regional and educational portion.
For more information, contact:
Brian Grant, Mayor Township of Wainfleet 905-899-3463 ext. 227
Mallory Luey, Treasurer Manager of Corporate Services Township of Wainfleet 905-899-3463 ext. 244