Durham Regional Council approved the 2013 budget and business plans on Wednesday with a near unanimous 25-1 vote. The $1.3 billion budget is highlighted by improvements and expansions on the Region’s road networks, capital funding for phase one of a new police complex in Clarington, added child care spaces, increasing emergency response capabilities, improving transit, and environmental and waste management initiatives. Regional Councilor Don Mitchell who is also the Chair of The Finance and Administration Committee says “Staff has worked diligently to ensure current and future funding is available for Regional programs and services; keeping in mind taxpayer affordability”. As a result of the 2013 Regional Property Tax Business Plan and Budgets, residents will see an average 2.35% increase on the regional portion of their property tax bill, which equates to about $54 on an average home assessed at $328,800.
$55 million will go to road and bridge projects including Harmony Road and Bloor Street in Oshawa, Brock Road in Pickering, Bayly and Victoria Street in Ajax, Regional Highway 12 in Whitby, the McCully Bridge in Brock Township, and the Main Street Bridge in Clarington. Operational requirements for the launch of the new Durham Region Transit Pulse service, which will provide rapid transit options on Highway 2 was also included.
The Region will also hire four 911 operators, eight new paramedics, and purchase nine ambulances. A total of $6.7 million was allotted for conservation authorities and nearly one million for the purchase of future lands that contribute to the protection of the natural environment. For more information on the 2013 budget click here.
Quentin D’Souza is the Chief Education Officer of the Durham Real Estate Investor Club. Author of The Property Management Toolbox: A How-To Guide for Ontario Real Estate Investors and Landlords and The Ultimate Wealth Strategy: Your Complete Guide to Buying, Fixing, Refinancing, and Renting Real Estate.