SD&G 2021 budget starts with fractional decrease

The United Counties of SD&G administration building at 26 Pitt Street in Cornwall, Ont. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

SD&G – The United Counties of SD&G is going into budget talks this week with a preliminary decrease of a fraction of 1 per cent on the county portion of property taxes.

The draft $69.6 million budget is about $2.2 million larger than it was last year. But the county plans to collect $20,175 fewer tax dollars compared to last year. Total taxation is around $50.6 million.

That’s due in part to property growth. The value of all properties in SD&G grew by $70.5 million year over year, meaning thousands more tax dollars and spreading the burden over more households and businesses.

Most of the county’s expenses are roads and transportation (54 per cent), police (16 per cent) and social services (14 per cent).

With assessment factored in, the 0.32 per cent tax decrease would result in a decrease of $1.85 on the county portion of taxes for every $100,000 of residential property value.

This doesn’t include the lower-tier municipality or education tax.

County council will start budget deliberations on Tuesday (Feb. 16) following its regular meeting at 9 a.m. and then continue on Wednesday morning at 9 a.m., if needed.

While the draft budget has a tax decrease, council is usually presented with optional projects, like paving roads, as well as various scenarios that could bring the budget into a slight increase at the end of the day.

The 2020 budget resulted in a 2.75 per cent tax increase.