Whitby approves 2023 budget with $115/year tax hike

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Published February 17, 2023 at 3:46 pm

The corner of Brock and Dundas in Downtown Whitby. via Google Maps.

Whitby taxpayers will have a slightly higher bill next year now that the Town has approved its 2023 budget. The new budget holds a two per cent hike for homeowners, about $113 per year.

Town Council approved the new budget in a special council meeting on Feb 16. with a stated focus on “maintaining the Town’s essential service delivery and existing infrastructure, while planning for growth.”

The budget includes $165 million for the operation of fire services, waste collection, parks and trails, maintenance of roads and community facilities, recreation, libraries, and more.

Another $185 million is earmarked for capital investments:

  • playground and accessibility improvements to seven locations like Rotary Park,
  • enhanced seating options, pathways, and gazebo at Grass Park
  • investments to reduces Whitby’s greenhouse gas emissions,
  • multi-use paths and an expanded cycling network
  • resurfacing 11 kilometers of road, and
  • Downtown Whitby and Downtown Brooklin Community Improvements

These two sections of the budget bring the total up to $350 million, a 5.8 per cent increase over last year. The Town raised taxes last year too, breaking down to about $40 per household per year.

This year, the town’s citizen budget feedback tool found that the top response among the participants was that they were happy with the current tax amount from May 26 to July 22, 2022 period.

In the engagement session for last year’s budget, the town found fewer than half of the participants felt they were comfortable with current taxation and services levels. Respondents cited community safety, access to other regions and green spaces, and an enjoyable town as their biggest reasons in both budget sessions.

In November real estate tracker Zoocasa found Whitby already had the highest overall property tax bill among 35 surveyed Ontario municipalities when adjusted for average home prices.

They found with an average home price of $991,105 at the time Whitby’s property tax rate made the average tax bill $11,368.75 in 2022. At the time, Oshawa, Ajax and Pickering were also in the top five, even though their flat tax rate was typically mid-range given the high cost of homes.

 

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