The 2024 City of Oshawa budget has recently been adopted. This blog post will delve into the details of the budget, exploring its key components and the impact it will have on the residents of Oshawa.
Understanding the Budget Increase
The 2024 budget necessitates a 3.89% increase in the overall City tax levy. The increase on the Oshawa portion of the total tax bill stands at 2.84%. However, it is important to note that the City's increase will be combined with the Region of Durham's budget outcome in early 2024, which will ultimately determine the final tax levies for the year.
Budget Constraints and Priorities
Some inherent constraints on municipal finances, include: inflation and recently passed legislation by the Government of Ontario.
The City of Oshawa states that despite these challenges, it remains devoted to protecting frontline services, investing in current and new infrastructure, incorporating inflationary increases, and prioritizing long-term financial sustainability.
The Components of the City Budget
The City budget is structured into two primary components: operating and capital.
The 2024 operating budget covers the expenses associated with delivering essential services to the Oshawa community. This includes vital services such as snow removal, waste collection, fire services, and recreation programs. Additionally, funds are allocated for the maintenance of City sidewalks, roads, on-street cycling lanes, trails, parks, playgrounds, splash pads, sports fields, facilities, as well as external agencies such as the Oshawa Public Libraries and Oshawa Senior Community Centres.
Within the operating budget, the City plans to add 41 permanent positions, including roles such as Animal Care Attendant, City Planners, Communications staff, Mechanics, and Information Technology Services staff. , 11 of these positions will be funded from sources other than the tax levy.
2. Capital Budget
The 2024 capital budget, amounting to $49.0 million, focuses on the construction, renewal, and improvement of essential infrastructure and core assets within Oshawa. Priorities, such as building and equipment, transportation, information technology, as well as parks, recreation, and culture, receive significant investment.
Notably, approximately $14.61 million has been allocated for projects like the Rose Valley Community Park, Bond/Simcoe Urban Square, Conant Park redevelopment, and investment in active transportation, among others.
The Tax Structure
As part of the two-tier government system, the City of Oshawa collects property taxes on behalf of the City itself, the Regional Municipality of Durham, and the Province for local school boards.
In 2023, for every dollar collected, the City retained only 41 cents, with approximately 44 cents allocated to the Region of Durham and 15 cents transferred to the Province for local school boards.
Written by: Lina Fouroughy