Budget Survey – Please give your input

June 20, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Fiscal, General 

The Town of Milton has opened up it’s Budget Survey to allow residents to give input related to next year’s budget (2015).   This is your opportunity to help guide the creation of our new budget.   You can go to Milton.ca/budgetsurvey to get started, the survey should only take  a few minutes.   It will ask you for your address to help confirm you are a Milton resident, but that information is kept confidential.   The survey is open until the end of the month (June 30th) so go now before you lose this opportunity.

Budget Open House Nov 28 at 7:30pm

November 28, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Fiscal 

Please join me for the Budget Open House for the 2014 Town operating and capital budgets for all Milton resident’s to give their comments, concerns and ideas before council’s debate and decisions regarding staff recommendations

Milton Sports Centre in room 3 at 7:30pm Thursday November 28

2014 Town of Milton Proposed Budget Online

November 26, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Fiscal 

The Town of Milton will be conducting it’s 2014 Capital and Operating Budget meeting on December 9 and (if needed) December 10 at 7pm each day in the Town Council Chambers at Town Hall.

The 2014 Proposed Capital and Operating Budgets have been posted online in PDF format

http://www.milton.ca/en/townhall/resources/2014ProposedBudgetBook.pdf

You can also view the Town of Milton budget page online at

http://www.milton.ca/en/townhall/budgets.asp

The budget document is 454 pages of fun.   But it’s also broken up into both a capital and an operating budget side.   From a taxpayer basis your annual property taxes is more directly related to the operating budget side.  But the capital budget also has long term implications that will impact future operating budgets.

Page 87 to 100 are what’s called the “Decision Packages” where decision points are made that would affect the property tax impact from between a 5% increase down to a 1% increase.   On December 9th council members can question any part of the entire budget, bring up new amendments for cuts or savings not listed in the decision packages, and discuss and vote on individual or group items on the Decision Packages listings.

If your a ward 7 resident I’d especially welcome your comments, questions and input.

 

Milton Town Budget – 2011

January 14, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Fiscal 

2011 Proposed Budget Documents

The current proposed local town tax increase is  5.72% (combination of 4.86% town and .86% library).   The town’s municipal tax portion makes up a small portion of your overall property tax bill, about 1 quarter.    With the zero percent regional portion it means whatever Milton’s local amount will be the end impact to your property tax bill will be less than that percentage.

Read more

Headwinds to face future Milton Town Budgets

June 23, 2010 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Fiscal 

This Monday was the Budget Standing Committee’s 2011 Pre-Budget Public Consultation & Priority Discussion meeting.   Where both council members and the public are able to give input prior to staff preparing budget guidelines and estimates.

Attendance was sparse with many empty seats in the audience and a couple council members absent.   Being an election year, although the current council sets the guidelines and priorities it will be the new council which will ultimately vote and approve the 2011 budget.

We have a good financial base with advantageous revenue streams that some municipalities might envy.    But we have unique factors that will converge into financial headwinds that the next council will be faced with.

The upper governments stimulus package has helped Milton move ahead on several large  projects simultaneously.   But we are now faced with an impact to our operating budget once these facilities come online.   The Milton Centre for the Arts, our new  Library and the Milton Sports Centre Expansion will all be opening during the next council’s term of office.   The fruitful bounty of  money that let us move forward earlier than we normally would have will now adversely put pressure on our local tax-base to  operate these facilities.   User fees, naming rights and other revenue that might be generated by these facilities will only go so far.

Then there is the 800 lb gorilla in the room – Milton District Hospital.   Our hospital is not up to task to service Milton’s future population growth.   The expansion of the Milton Hospital is under analysis by town staff in consultation with Halton Health Care with a funding report expected on Monday June 28th.   But even if the stars align and optimism prevails there will be a large local portion that the Town of Milton will have to pony up the cash for.  Special tax levies,  taking on debt and increased property taxes all unappetizing options that might be heavily used, we  need to  start addressing this more proactively.

Then throw into the mix the other  “minor” (only in comparison) factors of…

* HST impact (Staff advise it’s likely a $200,000 cost to the town even though the province initially advised it would be ‘revenue neutral’ to municipalities)

* Town Staff are being challenged with managing the largest capital program expansions in our history with possible serious consequences to upper government funding streams if critical deadlines aren’t met.

* The continued rapid growth of our population and with it infrastructure to meet that growth.

So with this in mind the question that popped into my head this Monday night is where the heck is everybody?   There are 17 new candidates (not including incumbents) but less than half  actually showed up.

I didn’t have a prepared speech that night.   I wanted to listen to the presentation, hear some of councils possible budget priorities and see what members of the public might have to say.   But near the end when the committee chair started to go through the first and then second call looking for anyone out there who might want to speak,  I did get up and approach the podium.   I asked (through the Committee Chair) if it was possible in 2011 the subject of better access to budget and financial information by the public might be revisited.  Milton’s budget and financials are currently only available via static PDF while individuals who might want to do detailed analysis are going to want some excel spreadsheet, comma delimited CSV files or other industry standard format that they could then load onto their computer and access.   Most modern accounting systems will import and export financial data in a wide range of formats so it’s incredulous to believe this can’t be easily done.    The answer I got was a definite “maybe” and that “end user specifications” need to be further analyzed.