Ajax residents paying $120 more in property taxes this year as town hikes spending by $3 million in 2022 budget

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Published March 3, 2022 at 11:49 am

The Town of Ajax has approved it budget for 2022 featuring $79 million in spending, an increase of $3 million over last year, funded in part by a .89 per cent property tax increase.

This hike breaks down to an additional $9.76 per $100,000 of home value for the year. As the Region of Durham has also increased their tax rate for 2022, Ajax residents will be paying around $120 more in property taxes this year.

Ajax said Council “has been very clear about prioritizing fiscal sustainability” over the 2018-2022 term, describing this budget as a culmination of those efforts.

The budget has earmarked funds for numerous new projects across town sectors including the hiring of 20 new firefighters and 13 new corporate staff positions in Ajax’s Innovation and Technology, Parking Enforcement, Operations and Environmental Services, and Planning and Development departments.

The budget lays out numerous investments for Ajax such as, $550,000 for new IT initiatives for workforce technology, a hardware replacement program and cyber and network security services.

The automated speed enforcement program will cost $278,000, and $260,000 is assigned to go into expanding winter control operations.

Meanwhile the Ajax Library will see both Archival Services transferred over and investments in a new Makerspace.

The 2022 budget breaks down into ten major investment areas;

  • 27 per cent of the budget will go to Operation and Environmental Services
  • 23 per cent to Fire and Emergency Services
  • 17 per cent to Recreation, Culture and Development
  • 8 per cent to Ajax Libraries
  • 8 per cent to Legislative and Information Services
  • 6 per cent to Non-Departmental and General Levies
  • 5 per cent to the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer
  • 3 per cent to the Finance Department
  • 2 per cent to Planning and Development, and
  • 1 per cent to the Mayor and Council

As in other Durham municipalities, such as Whitby, most of a residents tax bill goes to the Federal and Provincial governments. Of the tax-share that goes to the municipal level, Ajax receives about a third, Durham Region gets over half and schools get 14 per cent.

“Our 2022 Budget focuses on maintaining and improving Town services, while prioritizing affordability for our residents and businesses. Council is making substantial investments to our firefighting service, and making our roads safer through automated speed enforcement,” said Mayor Shaun Collier.

“We are moving forward with the Ajax Library MakerSpace, which will give local creators and small businesses access to tools they need to thrive,” he added, “I believe this budget does a great job balancing the future needs of the organization, Council’s goals, and keeping taxes steady while increasing levels of service as we continue to grow.”

Thanks to the Safe Restart Grant and Covid Recovery funding agreements, received from the provincial and federal governments in 2021, we are able to offset continued pandemic expenditures such as increased cleaning, purchase of PPE, the addition of uniformed security, and revenue losses due to the pandemic.” said Councillor Lisa Bower, Ajax Budget Chair

“Alleviating the burden of pandemic costs creates the opportunity for a forward thinking budget with investments in technology, staff, and public safety.”

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