News release – County of Simcoe
On November 28, 2023, County of Simcoe Council approved a $774 million budget, which focuses on the resources necessary to maintain existing services and address significant growth in our communities. The 2024 budget also includes strategic allocations that enable the County to continue to invest in services and assets such as infrastructure, long-term care, paramedic services, affordable housing, the Lake Simcoe Regional Airport, waste collections, transit, economic development, tourism, and enhancements to our road network.
At the direction and approval of County Council, residents will see a 1.7 per cent increase for operating and a 2 per cent increase for infrastructure and asset management on the County portion of their municipal property taxes in 2024. This represents an impact of approximately $10.69 per $100,000 property assessment across the region. $212 million of the County’s budget comes from Simcoe County residential property taxes and the remaining amount from other funding streams.
Similar to all organizations and individual residents of Simcoe County, the County continues to be impacted by inflation, rising costs of construction, CPI, supplies, insurance and other commodities. Because we knew the pressures families were facing during lockdowns and throughout COVID, the County had previously held a modest tax increase over that time to ensure that we were helping our residents as much as we were able to during the height of the pandemic, even holding at 0 per cent in 2021, which has reduced some of our financial flexibility today. The financial impact of the provincial blue box program and Bill 23 – Building More Homes Faster Act are not fully known at this time and will have larger impacts on future budgets.
“With inflation and cost of living increasing, County Council and staff worked hard to limit the impact of this budget on our residents, while ensuring we have the ability to continue to address the challenges in our communities and also to meet the needs of growing regional service demands,” said Warden Basil Clarke. “Council has approved a responsible budget that maintains funding for affordable housing buildings, provides opportunities to grow transit, enhances our road network, invests in long-term care and paramedicine and enables strategies that further support our economy and businesses. Every tax dollar counts and allows us to continue building up Simcoe County.”
The County maintains a strong financial position having received an AA+ long-term issuer credit rating from S&P Global Ratings, a provider of high-quality market intelligence in the form of credit ratings and research. While pressures continue, the 2024 budget ensures the County continues to address areas of growth, as well as initiatives directed by Council to enhance and maintain service levels for the region, support infrastructure, increase efficiencies, and prepare for the future of our region.
2024 Budget Highlights include:
Total County operating and capital expenditures for 2024 is $774 million ($614 million operating and $160 million capital) which includes expenditures for the following departments:
- LTC – Homes and Seniors Services $124 million
- Paramedic Services $72 million
- Children Services $109 million
- Community Services $29 million
- Social Housing $101 million
- Ontario Works $71 million
- Transportation and Engineering $80 million
- Solid Waste Management $81 million
Attached to this news release is the 2024 County of Simcoe Budget Overview.
County of Simcoe is composed of sixteen member municipalities and provides crucial public services to County residents in addition to providing paramedic and social services to the separated cities of Barrie and Orillia. Visit our website at simcoe.ca.
Banner image – file photo – Barrie 360