SDG COUNTIES — After two days of deliberation, the Council of the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry completed its review of the draft 2019 budget estimates on Wednesday, February 20.
The comprehensive budget includes all direct County expenditures as well as the estimated cost of services provided to the County by the City of Cornwall, Ontario Provincial Police, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, as well as other external service providers.
Several factors had a positive influence on the 2019 budget, including strong assessment growth of 6.5 percent across the County, the completion of 2018 with a healthy surplus of almost $700K, and interest income of about $375K.
Overall, the 2019 budget will generate approximately $48M in property tax revenue. While the average residential property’s assessment will increase to $215,900 in 2019, the owner of that property will pay about $3 less in County taxes than last year, representing a decrease of 0.2 percent.
“I am very pleased with our 2019 County budget, said Warden Jamie MacDonald. We were able to offset the increase in assessment by lowering tax rates, while at the same time maintaining our robust capital replacement program and enhancing some services. Our Council, with many new members, worked together as a team to finalize a document that achieves our goals and balances the ability of our residents to pay”.
In 2019, the County continues to make strategic investments in economic development by providing $250K to its Regional Incentives Program, which provides direct funding to local businesses and property owners to upgrade and enhance their properties. Further, investments in the IT Department will build on the successes of 2018 in the development of robust IT services for both the County and its local municipalities.
For 2019, the County will spend approximately $14.1M on capital road and bridge improvement projects.
- The County holds reserves of over $14M.
- About 74 percent of the County’s tax revenues are derived from the residential
- property tax class.
- Three services – transportation, policing, and health and social services account for 83 percent of all County expenditures.
- Provincial financial support to SDG has declined by $13.5M since 1999. This shortfall has been made up by local tax dollars.