Wellington North tax rate increasing 4.9% in 2024

KENILWORTH – Wellington North council approved the 2024 budget at a Dec. 11 meeting.

The budget process began with township department heads in September and council got its first look at a draft budget on Nov. 20, followed by a special budget meeting on Nov. 29.

The proposed increase to the township’s tax rate for next year began at close to 6%, but was revised to 5% at council’s request.

Township staff cut around $5.2 million in capital projects from the budget to accomplish the rate reduction, including several road reconstruction projects, two proposed pedestrian crossings, playground equipment, a watermain, parking lot repaving and Mount Forest dam maintenance.

Those projects have been deferred to future years, but will eventually have to be completed.

Once new growth to the tax base is factored in, next year’s tax increase to residents comes in at 4.94%.

For a residential home valued at $271,636 (in 2016 dollars) the bill for the township’s portion is $1,468 – an increase of about $66 for 2024.

Overall, the operating budget is increasing to $9.64 million in 2024 from $9 million this year.

The capital portion of the budget is increasing to $9.77 million (not including a $13.5-million upgrade to the Arthur wastewater treatment plant) from $8.56 million this year.

Some of the notable expenses in the budget include:

  • a generator and an upper-hall renovation for the Arthur and Area Community Centre;
  • new gear for volunteer firefighters;
  • replacement of the Arthur ice resurfacer;
  • upgrades to the Arthur pool;
  • demolition of the old Lion Roy Grant pool in Mount Forest; and
  • a new plow, tractor and pickup trucks.