Barrie property owners may be looking at a 3.52 rate increase for 2020

The process of drafting a new budget is under way at City Hall
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The cost of maintaining a home in Barrie looks to be going up next year as city council considers a 3.52 per cent property tax increase.
On Monday, director of finance Craig Millar presented the 2020 Business Plan Operating Budget. The budget overview is the third stage in a six-part process of approving a new budget; the first two were council budget directions and staff executing a budget preparation plan, with the next three being a budget question-and-answer session, deliberations on Dec. 2, and council consideration on Dec. 9.
Directions from council to staff regarding the operation budget included:
Tax supported services
• Cap on any potential 2020 tax increase of 3%, excluding legislated changes, and the Dedicated Infrastructure Renewal Fund levy
• Options/strategies for smoothing the cost of service delivery related to growth pressures such as the net operating impact of capital.
Service Partners
• Budget changes directly linked to Provincial legislated changes/announcements be identified separately.
• Increase the contribution to the tax capital reserve by $110,000 for the purpose of accommodating an increase in active transportation initiatives.
The budget shows a 3.7 per cent rate increase for water, a 3.88 per cent rate increase for wastewater, and parking fees being held at current rates. These are self‐sustaining operations, with revenue requirements based on full‐cost recovery.
The budget forecasts a $199 million 2020 capital plan, with $145 million in new requests and $54 million already approved. Key projects include:
• Harvie Road crossing
• Wastewater Treatment Facility upgrades and expansion capacity
• Bell Farm Road ROW expansion
• McKay Road ROW expansion
• Road resurfacing
• Dunlop Street corridor improvements
• Mapleview Drive East road expansion and new trunk watermain
• Storm pond upgrades.
The City’s debt level for 2020 is expected to be $312 million, down from 2019’s $322 million. Service partners will make their presentations on Nov. 25.