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Clarington Council approves 2021 Municipal Budget with a 2.04% tax levy increase

Clarington, Ontario –  Clarington Council has approved the 2021 Municipal Budget, which includes a 2.04 per cent increase on the Clarington portion of the tax levy. That's an increase of $31.01 per year for the average property.

"This year, Council focused on minimizing spending and trying to make every dollar count," said Clarington Mayor Adrian Foster. "We know that COVID-19 has financially impacted many businesses and residents. That's why this year's increase is tied to inflation and the rising cost of providing services. There are no new surprises, no new services added. We are simply trying to maintain our service levels and our investment in infrastructure," added Mayor Foster.

The 2.04 per cent increase will be used to cover the day-to-day operating costs. For every $100 collected in your local taxes, approximately $20 is used to pay for winter road maintenance, parks repair, cemeteries, sidewalks and building maintenance. While more than $18 is used to cover the cost of fire services, and around $12 will go towards capital expenses, including maintaining needed infrastructure.

This year, approximately $8.3 million will be used to support Clarington's ongoing infrastructure investment. The majority of that money will go towards rural road repair, road replacement, sidewalk repair, and bridge rehabilitation. Clarington is also planning to upgrade the HVAC system in various buildings to improve ventilation, filtration and air circulation. The Municipality has budgeted more than $508,000 to pay for various improvements to our parks and sports fields. Clarington has earmarked funding to clean up a stormwater pond in Solina to reduce sediment buildup, reduce erosion, and ensure that the pond is working correctly. The Municipality is investing $245,000 to make accessibility improvements to various buildings to ensure that residents of all abilities can access and navigate the premises. Taking advantage of the current facility closures, Clarington is also making some much-needed repairs to our community facilities and pools to minimize any service disruptions to residents when these facilities can reopen to the public following all COVID-19 regulations.

Clarington Council decided that a half a percentage point from the tax levy will be set aside annually for an arena reserve fund to help pay for future arena needs, either replacement of existing facilities or a new facility. For 2021, $315,000 has been allocated as this year's contribution to that reserve fund. Separately, Council also directed staff to explore alternate locations for the proposed South Bowmanville Recreation Centre, looking at more centralized options. Council has also asked staff to investigate a Private-Public Partnership (P3) arrangement for the development of a new recreation facility. This type of partnership involves government and business working together to provide an infrastructure project that will deliver services to the community. Clarington staff have been instructed to report back on their findings.

Council has also invested money from Clarington's tax rate stabilization fund to pay for several initiatives and to mitigate this year's budget impact on taxpayers. Several projects will be paid for using money in this fund, including an accessible parking spot in downtown Newcastle, temporary portable speed cushions, the restoration of the Shaw House in Bowmanville, as well as road repairs and ditching on Mill Street in Orono.

Clarington continues to feel the effects of COVID-19. The Municipality has received funding through a federal-provincial partnership under the Safe Restart Agreement. In total, Clarington received more than $3 million in 2020-21. The Municipality is using approximately $903,000 in 2021 to help offset some of the costs associated with lost revenue because of the ongoing facility and program closures.

"We want to thank both the Federal and Provincial governments for their ongoing support and leadership during this pandemic. This funding will help us provide services that our residents depend on," said Clarington Mayor Adrian Foster.

Clarington 2021 Budget Highlights:

  • Maintain service levels;
  • Continued support for critical infrastructure;
  • Includes inflationary increases to cover the cost of services;
  • Cuts to overall operating expenses to reflect COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Includes a savings plan for future recreation needs.

For every dollar collected in taxes across the Municipality, approximately 33 cents goes to pay for services in Clarington; 49 cents is allocated to pay for Region of Durham services, and 18 cents goes to pay for education.

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Media inquiries:
Municipality of Clarington
Basia Radomski
Communications Manager
905-623-3379 ext. 2214 or bradomski@clarington.net

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