Tax Rates for 2020

On June 22nd Council there is a report recommending tax rates.  We approved our 2020 operating budget in January; this now defines how the required tax levies will  be collected; how much a residential, commercial, industrial property pays.  And ultimately it defines what your and my tax rate is which is then factored against your current value assessment. The residential tax rate for 2020 is .00793011 which is 3.98% lower than  2019. This appendix to the report  includes a  tax rate schedule for all classifications and provides a ward by ward review of tax burden.    In Ward 5 1,563 properties have increase; 26% of those have increases <$100.  In Ward 5 210 have decreases.

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Delegating Authority

On Jne 22 agenda there is a Staff report recommending delegation of authority to Director of Growth Management Services (GMS) for two processes.  (GMS is a new department composed of Planning, Building and Bylaw; the Director of GMS is Stephen Naylor who was Director of Planning.)  1st process to be delegated is site plan approval, including allocations.  Second process is for allowing encroachments onto public land (e.g. sidewalks) for new or expanded patios. As reviewed in the report the incentive to do this is to reduce review time of applications. Beneficiaries of this is the developer whose projects will be completed more quickly; Township will benefit with new businesses or residents being in place and contributing to economy and/or tax base more quickly; less Staff time is required by eliminating need for one set of Council reports.  I totally understand the rationale.  I am uncomfortable with the delegation RE: encumbrances.  We are just staring to really pay attention to active transportation.  To now start inhibiting/restricting this  by having patio tables on sidewalks is a very big deal.  Given the importance of the economy being re-opened, safey, I can likely accept this delegation for a defined/fixed  period of time but I first have some questions.  I also have some questions about delegating site plan approvals.

Extending an ICBL on Severances

On June 22nd Council agenda there is a Staff report recommending the extension of a current interim control bylaw (ICBL), which restricts severances in our 3 villages for one year as our new Official Plan (One King) is still not in force.  As One King has more robust policies on the issue of severances in the villages, extension of the ICBL would likely not be proposed if it were in force.  I have posted several times on this issue as I believe it is very important in terms of the impact on village character.  As reviewed in the report, the timing for implementing an extension has been delayed due to the Emergency Orders of the Province in response to COVID which suspended Planning Act deadlines;  as of June 22 this suspension is over and hence the appropriateness of the recommendation to extend.

The Finances of our Water Systems

On the Council agenda there are several reports providing good background information on the financial plan for the water drinking systems which King Township operates.  The rigor of the financial plans is how residents who depend on these systems can have confidence that they are being operated, every day, safely.  Its based on this that licenses to operate are given.  The report indicates that there will be a hefty increase in 2021 of 13% and thereafter, through to 2029 to be 3%.  I will be asking for explanation about this.  The link I am providing here is for Agenda; scroll down to report 9.6 for links to the report and a couple appendices.

2019 Financial Statements

On Council agenda on Monday June 22 there is a Finance report on the Township’s Financial statements for 2019.  I consider this to be a very positive report, particularly given the impact of the pandemic on Township revenues.  As reviewed in the report there is an operating surplus of $1.6 million dollars.  I am very supportive of the recommended uses of the surplus:  $1.2 million for tax rate stabilizaion, $.4 million for infrastructure reserve.  As operating surpluses are not something you can plan on I agree with allocating these funds to these two reserves.  We have been following this strategy since 2012.

At 5PM on June 22nd there is a presentation by our auditor BDO Canada in a special audit committee meeting.  This is an electronic meeting held remotely and will be live streamed via http://meeting.king.ca.  You can watch & listen.