A Better Budget: My Proposal

2012 Budget Staff Proposed 2013 My Proposed 2013
Culture 21.9 22.3 22.3
Economic Prosperity 8.4 8.4 8.4
Environmental Services 16.4 16.5 16.6
Parks, Rec & Neighbourhoods 28.2 28.2 28.5
Planning 4.8 4.9 4.9
Protective Services 145.6 152.9 151.4
Social and Health 71.3 68.4 69.4
Transporation 53.6 54.8 55.5
Corporate and Operations 117.2 122.4 121.3
467.4 478.9 478.3

This budget proposal is premised upon the following avoidance or acceptance of reductions as offered by staff.

Highlights of Reductions Avoided:

  • Cuts to Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Program
  • Cuts to social or affordable housing
  • Elimination of green bins
  • Moratorium on new bike paths
  • Reductions to library services
  • Reduction of sidewalk plowing
  • Increased recreation service fees
  • Reduced investment in London CAReS
  • Reduction to Middlesex London Health Unit
  • Staff reductions (approximately 18 jobs saved)
  • Elimination of double decker bus tours
  • Cuts to Downtown BIA

Highlights of Reductions/Revenues Accepted:

  • Reduced economic development funds
  • Increased service fees and fence fees
  • Deferral of Fire Service training tower move
  • Reduced contribution to Urban Works Reserve Fund
  • Fire Services service review
  • Reduction in capital grant program
  • Reduction in brownfield studies
  • Deferral of “In Motion” funding

This budget is also premised on the following reductions not proposed by staff:

  • Reduction of the increase to Police Services from 3.6% to 2.0%

Other budget reductions for consideration would be changing the Development Charge Exemption for industrial from 100% to some other percentage to be determined, and reviewing the fast-tracking of Storm Water Management Ponds for greenfield development.  Either of these could bring us to 0%, but are of a complexity to calculate that is a bit beyond me.

Overall, I am proposing a 2.3% increase to municipal property taxes, which equates to a $55/year increase for your average property owner, or less than $5/month.  This is the cost of saving housing, bus services, libraries, green bins, etc.  A cost I hope most would be willing to pay.

Update: With changes in assessment growth, my proposal revises to a 1.8% increase.

Update 2: Thank you to the sharp eye of Nathan Smith, I have revised my reduction to the Police Services budget.  I had proposed this believing that they were still adding 16 new officers, but the 3.6% increase includes deferring this new hiring.  Leaving the Police at 3.6% brings the proposal back closer to my original over 2.3%.

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