Council approves budget below rate of inflation

(Barrie, ON) City Council has approved a 2.94 per cent tax increase for 2022. The operating budget of $392 million will deliver city services, and a capital budget of $346 million will be used to continue replacing and building more of Barrie's roads, pipes and buildings.

For the average Barrie home (includes townhomes, apartments & detached homes) assessed at $362,740 this increase translates to an additional $132 annually. The assessed value is provided by MPAC and is different than the market value of homes.

Council's priority this year was keeping taxes low while residents continue to deal with the financial effects of the ongoing global pandemic.

“It has been another difficult budget year, but I'm happy where we've landed," said Mayor Jeff Lehman. “We managed to keep the budget increase below the rate of inflation, while still fixing more roads, renewing major infrastructure, and adding new services such as the Holly Library and additional by-law enforcement. It's always a difficult balance, but I think the choices we made were reasonable under the circumstances."

The 2.94 per cent property tax increase consists of 2.19 per cent for City services and service partners (Barrie Police Services, County of Simcoe, Barrie Public library) and 0.75 per cent for the Dedicated Infrastructure Renewal Fund. The fund is used to replace and renew roads, pipes and buildings.

Highlights of the 2022 Budget include:Funding to reopen the Georgian Theatre in 2022Substantial funding increase to the County of Simcoe for housing and homelessness preventionFour new by-law enforcement officersLDD Moth management plan, including aerial spray or other management options for 2022

New permanent traffic calming measures to create safer roadsConstruction of a new Bryne Drive connection from Harvie Road to north of Caplan AvenueNew library branch in the Holly area

Resurfacing 6.3 km of roads and replacing 5 km of roadsBunkers Creek Culverts and Watercourse Improvements (Innisfil Street to Lakeshore Drive)Continuation of Mapleview Drive East Improvements (Country Lane to Yonge Street)

Residential property tax bill funds are allocated to City services (56 per cent), education (12 per cent as mandated by the Province) and Service Partners (32 per cent between the Barrie Police Service, County of Simcoe, Public Libraries, etc.). The Business Plan & Budget will be funded through property taxes, user fees and other financing sources.

Council also approved a 2.4 per cent increase to water rates and a 3.03 per cent increase to wastewater rates. For a typical Barrie home consuming 180 cubic metres of water annually, the water bill will increase by $8.75 and the wastewater bill will increase by $15.61. New rates come into effect in May of each year.

The City continues to offer a financial assistance support program to help offset water/wastewater bill costs for low-income households in Barrie. The program allows successful applicants to be credited a portion of their water/wastewater bill back to them. For more information and details on the application process for the water/wastewater financial assistance program, visit “Low-Income Household Water/Wastewater Relief Program" viabarrie.ca/WaterBilling.

City of Barrie homeowners can also learn how the City invested their 2021 tax dollars with apersonalized, estimated receipt that provides a breakdown of how their money was used to fund City and partner services.

The 2022 Business Plan & Budget (before amendments) is available atbarrie.ca/budget.

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Media Contact
Scott LaMantia
Senior Communications Advisor
The City of Barrie
(705) 739-4220 ext. 4529
scott.lamantia@barrie.ca