Once again Scugog Council has disregarded the affects of the pandemic on both residents and small businesses and approved a 5.9% property tax increase, the highest property tax increase within Durham Region, yet we are one of the smallest.
Ken Nix, CAO, defends it and states, “most municipalities are budgeting as if 2021 will be a regular year.”
If so, then why are all the others holding their increases to a minimum? 2021 will not be a regular year, already events are being cancelled and the timeline for being vaccinated runs well into the autumn.
Additionally, they have received over $750,000 from the Ontario government for COVID-related costs, which they have not tapped. In fact, Scugog has managed to avoid a deficit.
All of these factors added together should have supported a more favourable budget. Council had a fiscal responsibility, to both the residents and small business, to approve a budget more appropriate under the current situation. Given that 4% is for reserves and another for conferences and other annual event (that will obviously not occur), they should have pushed back.
Mary-Anne Matthews, Scugog