June 18, 2018
County and area municipalities seek input on 2019 budgets
Online survey lets residents bring forward their municipal service priorities for the upcoming budget year
For the third year in a row, Oxford County’s municipalities are asking residents to take part in an online survey to bring forward their municipal service priorities for the 2019 budget year.
The online budget survey provides estimated annual household costs for municipal services then asks participants to say whether each service should be enhanced, maintained or reduced in the upcoming year. It also asks residents to rate their overall perception of the value for their tax dollars and to indicate how they would like to participate in future budget consultations.
The survey encompasses County-wide services provided by Oxford County, such as human (social) services, water and wastewater, and community planning, as well as area municipal services such as emergency services and parks and recreation. Participating area municipalities in this year’s survey include Blandford-Blenheim, East Zorra-Tavistock, Ingersoll, Norwich, South-West Oxford, Tillsonburg and Zorra.
Information collected from the budget survey will help provide a better understanding of how well municipal services are understood, how they are valued, and which ones are a priority for residents. Municipal staff will receive the survey results going into their budget preparations and will share results with councils.
The 2019 budget survey is open on Speak Up, Oxford! at www.oxfordcounty.ca/speakup from July 18 to August 31, 2018. Paper copies of the survey are also available through participating municipal offices, Oxford County Library branches and at the Oxford County Administration Building.
Lynn Buchner, Director Corporate Services
“The annual budget survey offers our residents a convenient way to engage in the budget process and to have input into how tax dollars are spent in their community. By working with our municipal partners again this year, we hope to better inform people about the services we provide as well as gain a better understanding of what matters most to Oxford residents, so that we can prepare budgets that accurately reflect those priorities.”
About the Oxford County Budget
Through its approval of Oxford County operating and capital budgets, Council decides on the municipality’s priorities for the upcoming year by setting aside funds for each program or service.
This financial plan gives staff the guidelines and direction to allocate resources and provide services and infrastructure. An important part of the annual budget is the continued support of the County's financial planning for the future.
Property taxes are divided into three components:
- Education Levy.This is set by the Province of Ontario.Taxes are collected then remitted to area school boards.
- Area Municipal Tax Levy.This is set by your area municipality (Blandford-Blenheim, East Zorra-Tavistock, Ingersoll, Norwich, South-West Oxford, Tillsonburg, Woodstockor Zorra). It supports the services provided by your area municipality level, for instance, recreation, police and fire services.
- County Municipal Tax Levy. This is set by the County and supports the services provided at the County Level.
All Oxford County residents pay the same tax rate for County services, regardless of location, with the exception of properties within the City of Woodstock, where residents do not pay for County library services or for a court security special levy. In 2018, a residential home valued at $250,000 pays about $84 a month, or $1,007 for the year ($911 in Woodstock), for County services.
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About Oxford County
Located in the heart of southwestern Ontario at the crossroads of Highways 401 and 403, Oxford County has a population of approximately 114,000 people across eight area municipalities that are “growing stronger together.” As a partnership-oriented, two-tier municipal government, Oxford County is emerging as a leader in sustainable growth through the Future Oxford Community Sustainability Plan and County Council’s commitment to achieving 100% renewable energy, becoming a zero waste community, and working towards zero poverty. Situated in one of Ontario’s richest areas for farmland, agriculture is a key industry that serves as a springboard for some of the sustainable industries that are steadily diversifying the local economy. Oxford County offers a thriving local arts, culture and culinary community, as well as conservation parks, natural areas and more than 100 kilometres of scenic trails. The Oxford County Administration Building is located in Woodstock, Ontario. Visit www.oxfordcounty.ca or follow our social media sites at www.oxfordcounty.ca/social. Oxford County’s Strategic Plan is at oxfordcounty.ca/strategicplan.
Tommasina Conte | Strategic Communication & Engagement
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Donna Kemp | Strategic Communication & Engagement
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