Draft property tax increases are likely going to come in a little lower than expected, without impacting services, courtesy of previously unknown capital funding.
That’s the explanation offered by County of Wellington social services administrator Luisa Artusa when asked how a request for increased funding from the City of Guelph is set to drop from $4.6 million to $3.59 million.
However, she can’t discuss it in detail at this time.
“Attaching particular funding envelopes to particular projects, that’s embargoed by the province,” Artuso said, referring to the practice of holding back information until an agreed upon time. “That’s why we can talk at a high level about the types of funding rather than the actual funding sources.”
The high level explanation is that in the past two weeks, county officials learned of more than $1 million in capital funding allocated to a capital project. When the draft budget was crafted, those funds came out the tax-supported operational side of the ledger.
Now that money can remain on the operating side, meaning less of an increase is required to provide the same services previously planned.
“By doing that, we are reducing the city’s portion of that ($5.3 million total increase) and the county’s portion too,” said Artuso. “The 2025 budget, we’re not touching that.”
As noted in a city staff memo to council, the draft tax increase may come down to 9.98 per cent from 10.32 per cent as a result of the lessened request from the county.
To note, the downsized funding increases isn’t official.
“It still needs to be approved by county council,” said Artuso. “Once we have that approval, we can be a little bit more open with information as to how that came to be.”