KINGSVILLE — Town council will consider a 3.5 per cent tax increase as part of this year’s draft budget that would also see major spending on road repairs and an expansion of the municipal workforce.
The increase would mean a $62.35 hike in the municipal portion of the tax bill based on a home with an assessed value of $250,000.
Council will begin a line-by-line, department-by-department review of the draft budget on Wednesday.
The budget is expected to be passed toward the end of month.
Ryan McLeod, the town’s director of financial services, said a number of factors contributed to the municipal tax increase, including the rising rate of inflation, increases to the minimum wage and increased demand for municipal services as Kingsville’s population grows.
According to Statistics Canada, the Consumer Price Index rose by 4.7 per cent between November 2020 and November 2021.
“We’re not different than any other business in that we have to deal with the same inflationary pressures,” McLeod said.
“And then the other major component has to do with staff and adding staffing resources.”
In 2021 the town hired a director of community and development services, a town solicitor, a communications director and a clerk.
This year the town will hire a human resources assistant, two unionized public works employees, an engineering technician, a fire prevention officer and a recreational programming co-ordinator.
McLeod said the planned hiring of a programming director is in response to requests from residents for more recreational programs.
Among the new recreational programs and services planned for this year are a Fisbee golf course near the dog park off County Road 50, further improvements to Lions Park, a new dog park near the intersection of Jasperson Drive and Road 2 and construction of a shade structure at the new pickleball courts.
“We’re looking at new sports that are coming online like pickleball and the potential to add a Frisbee golf course,” said Mayor Nelson Santos.
“These are different amenities that haven’t been offered before and it’s in keeping with what our residents are asking for.”
The draft budget calls for $14.5 million in spending on road repairs, resurfacing and bridge work.
Santos said the infrastructure work planned for 2022 is part of the town’s “ongoing commitment” to improving Kingsville’s urban and rural roads.
Included in the road work proposals are improvements to Road 2 between the Graham and Kratz side roads, upgrades to Road 3 between the Albuna Townline and County Road 34 and improvements to roads 10 and 11 and a road in the Cedar Beach subdivision.
The 3.5 tax increase does not include the county and education levies.
The 2022 municipal tax levy town will raise $ 20,346,105 compared to $ 19,150,737 in 2021.
Last year Kingsville had the second lowest municipal tax rate after Lakeshore. The taxes on a home assessed at $250,000 in 2021, including the county and school board levies, were $3,385. This year municipal taxes will be $3,467 on a similarly assessed home.
McLeod said the assessed value of a home is not the same as the market value. The assessed value of Ontario homes is set by the Municipal Property Tax Corporation (MPAC).
A breakdown of the operating budget show policing as the most expensive expenditure at
$3,269,016 followed by public works, $3,085,792, parks and recreation, $2,384,816, administration, $2,003,417, the fire department, $1,719,566 and garbage collection and disposal, $1,531,549.
Other sources of revenue for the town include federal and provincial grants, $6,030,960, reserves, $3,131,364 and development charges, $6,908,750.
When the operating and capital budgets are combined the town will spend around $38 million in 2022.