Despite increase, residential taxpayers in Norwich Township will see reduction while farm properties pick up larger share

Norwich Township Crest

Norwich Township Crest

Norwich Township council has approved its operating budget for 2018, and combined with the capital budget, will see a 1.75 per cent increase in the municipal tax levy for township taxpayers.

According to a press release issued Friday, the budget includes $8,601,893 in total operating expenses and $2,806,523 in operating revenues. This left $5,795,370 to be raised through taxes - an increase of $109,343 (or 1.92 per cent) from last year.

The overall tax levy will increase by 2.81 per cent over 2017, but with assessment growth of 1.06 per cent factored in, the result is a 1.75% impact to taxpayers.

Some of the significant items impacting the 2018 operating budget include:

• An increased budget for volunteer firefighter wages of $80,000 as a result of increasing call volumes;

• Increased OPP Police Contract costs of $20,740;

• Increased costs for municipal drains construction/reconstruction of $20,000;

• Wage impacts as a result of the increase in minimum wages in Ontario of $20,000;

These increases have been partially offset by an increase in provincial funding of $110,200 for 2018. In the media release, township staff state this is the first time in almost a decade that Norwich Township has benefited from an increase in provincial funding. Funding that totaled $2,110,400 in 2009 had dwindled to $833,000 in 2017. With the increase, the provincial funding now totals $943,200 in 2018.

Even with the increase in the levy, residential taxpayers in Norwich will be seeing a decrease in their taxes for 2018. Shifts in the assessment base for Norwich Township, as a result of the last province-wide reassessment, will see the farmland tax class pick up a greater share of taxes in the 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 taxation years. This tax shift, combined with the low levy increase for 2018, will result in an average residential taxpayer in Norwich (assessment of $245,000) seeing a reduction in the local taxes of $35.28.