Regional Council Ratifies Peel's 2006 Budget
(Brampton) - Regional Council today endorsed the Region's 2006 Current and Capital Budget, presented by Acting Chief Administrative Officer, David Szwarc and Treasurer and Commissioner of Finance, Dan Labrecque. The tabled recommendation detailed a 2006 operating budget of $1.2 billion with a tax rate increase of 3.3 per cent or $46 per household and an increase of 4.7 per cent or approximately $15 per household to the water and wastewater utility rate. The approved 2006 Capital Budget is $452.4 million.
"Council has been very thorough in reviewing options and making service level decisions," said Szwarc. "Throughout the budget process, which started earlier this year, Council was able to reduce the original budget submission by $3.5 million on directly controlled Regional programs."
Key service level enhancements include:
- 30 additional frontline officers
- 9 intelligence officers to investigate gangs and organized crime
- 8 civilian court package processors
- 8 review office civilianization positions
- 15 cadets representing the initial reinstatement of the cadet program
Other directly controlled Regional programs:
- Second year implementation of three year service improvement plan in Public Health
- 860 new subsidized child care spaces
Regionally controlled tax supported programs include: Roads, Waste Management, Ontario Works, TransHelp, Children's Services, Public Health, Long Term Care, Housing Policy and Programs, Heritage Programs, Regional Planning and Ambulance and Emergency Programs.
"Our priority is to balance the excellent service quality Peel provides with what the Region can afford - and more importantly what is fair to our taxpayers," said Gael Miles, Chair of the Management Section of General Committee. "In addition to pressures related to inflation and growth affecting the tax increase, there are also factors beyond our control. One example is GTA Pooling where the Region must pay the Province for programs and services that do not benefit Peel residents and that we, as Regional Council, do not control."
In addition to the $3.5 million in reductions on Regional programs, Regional Council decided to freeze contributions to GTA Pooling at the 2005 budget level of $59 million and further that it would not tax residents for the $2.9 million increase requested by the Province. Since 1998, Peel has contributed $490 million to Pooling.
"The budget process is a continuum that began in early 2004 with the adoption of the strategic plan," said Labrecque. "Through ongoing collaboration and regular consultation with Council, staff is able to present a well-balanced annual budget each year and also to anticipate and address future pressures to ensure the Region maintains its strong fiscal reputation well into the future."
The Regional Municipality of Peel was incorporated in 1974 on the principle that certain community and infrastructure services are most cost-effectively administered over a larger geographic area. The Region of Peel serves more than one million residents in the Cities of Mississauga and Brampton and the Town of Caledon.
2006 Budget Information: