The Proposed 2024 Budget
The Township of Muskoka Lakes held two Special General/Finance Committee meetings in November to deliberate and discuss the Draft Operating and Capital Budgets and 10 Year Forecast.
At the November 1st, 2023 meeting Director of Financial Services, Mark Donaldson presented a 6.9% budget, which fell in the guidelines provided by Council. Following an extremely lengthy meeting staff were asked to return with a second draft of the budget which would include modifications made by Committee, including concerns regarding the levels of Township reserves. Staff were asked provide Committee what the effects would be on the levy if reserve contributions were increased by $500,000.00 and by $1,000,000.00.
Committee met again on November 30th, 2023 when Mr. Donaldson presented Draft 2 of the 2024 budget with a levy increase of 8.4% over the 2023 approved budget. Committee held an extensive discussion regarding what reserve contributions should be in 2024. It was ultimately decided to increase reserve contributions another $1,000,000.00 over and above the staff proposed amount of $440,000.00.
As a result of these discussions, if the budget is approved at the December 13th, 2023 Council meeting the tax levy for 2024 for the Township’s portion of your tax bill will be 15.7% (excluding assessment increases) over the approved 2023 tax levy, or $18.58 per $100,000.00 of assessed property value. This equates to a tax increase of 14.3%.
ED Note: The MRA has constantly expressed concerns in our analysis of Township budgets over the past 15 years, that contributions to reserves have been inadequate to fund the Township’s capital needs. We are pleased that this Council is attempting to address this problem.
The budget report and the draft budget that is being presented to Council on Wednesday, December 13th, 2023 for APPROVAL can be accessed here:
- Report from the Director of Financial Services to Council – Click Here
- The proposed 2024 budget – Click Here