COVID-conscious Bradford West Gwillimbury council passes budget with zero percent property tax increase

Town saved some money by not setting any aside for events and conferences that aren't happening anyway

Add Bradford – West Gwillimbury to the list of municipalities opting for a zero per cent property tax increase this year.

Mayor Rob Keffer says the trimmed-down budget was a means of helping folks through the pandemic. “Understanding the financial pressures that residents are facing this year due to the pandemic, we put aside some of the projects that we would have liked to do and focused on the things that we need to do to deliver the services residents depend on, and to invest wisely in our future,” says Keffer. “A zero-increase budget is rarely achievable in a growing and modernizing community, but for 2021 it was the right choice to make.”

Council found a few one-time savings to take advantage of in the 2021 budget, many of them surrounding activities that couldn’t go ahead anyway due to the pandemic. Funds to hold events, mileage to attend conferences, and a freeze on new positions helped keep this budget to a zero percent increase.

Recently, the City of Orillia and the Town of Innisfil announced passed municipal budgets with zero per cent increases, while the County of Simcoe was able to do the same for its ratepayers. The City of Barrie passed a budget with a historically low 0.9 per cent increase on Monday.