Town of Newmarket Council approved a 2.2% tax increase, combined with 0.75% for asset replacement for a total 2.95% tax increase (Town portion) for the 2019 Operating and Capital Budgets for the Town of Newmarket, Newmarket Public Library (NPL) and Central York Fire Services (CYFS) at the March 4 Council Meeting.
Based on an average property assessment value of approximately $607,000, Newmarket residents will see an increase of $58 on the Town portion of their tax bill, a water/wastewater rate increase of $58 (5.10 per cent) and a storm water rate increase of $4 (11.8%).
“Council and staff worked hard to ensure this budget strikes the right balance between investing in our future, while keeping the tax level below the GTA average,” says Mayor John Taylor. “Financial sustainability is one of Council’s top Strategic Priorities, and we will continue to review operations for efficiencies, while ensuring Newmarket is poised for success in the short and long term.”
In addition to the approved changes, the 2019 budget also included $6.6 million in funds dedicated to road rehabilitation, $2.4 million towards trails and active transportation, and $1 million for the replacement of bridges and culverts in Newmarket. The city also approved funds towards fleet replacement, the completion of the CYFS station 4-5, as well as $150,000 in funds for the Mulock Farm which will be put into reserves for future use.
The Town of Newmarket states it continues to take a responsible and sustainable approach to asset management, with an additional $440,000 for annual contributions to the tax supported Asset Replacement Fund (ARF). The ARF was created in 1998 to ensure appropriate funding is available to replace and repair the Town’s $1 billion (replacement cost) worth of capital assets both now and long into the future.
An extensive public engagement campaign for the 2019 Budget ran from August 2018 to March 2019, in which residents were encouraged to Get Involved and provide their input on the process. Residents had the opportunity to play the “Put Your Money Where it Matters” Budget game online and at events including the Newmarket Farmers’ Market, the Central York Fire Services Newmarket Open House and the Town’s Princess and Superhero party. Residents were also encouraged to stream or attend all Budget Meetings and contact Members of Council or the Town with their ideas, comments or questions.
The total approved 2019 Operating Budget is $130.8 million and the Capital Budget is $27.7 million, with a combined total of $158.5 million.