June 14, 2017
County and area municipalities seek input into 2018 budgets
Joint survey asks residents to share their thoughts on priorities for the upcoming year
For the second year in a row, Oxford County is taking an interactive approach to the budget process by inviting residents to participate in an online survey to identify planning and service priorities for 2018.
Once again, this year’s survey invites residents to learn more about how various programs and projects are funded and then asks participants to indicate whether the same services should be enhanced, maintained or reduced in the upcoming year. It also asks residents to rate their overall perception of the value for County tax dollars and to indicate how they would like to participate in future budget consultations.
In addition to questions about County-wide services, this year’s budget survey also gives respondents an opportunity to provide input at the area municipal level. Oxford County has partnered with seven area municipalities to include questions ranging from general government and emergency services to parks and recreation, transportation and more. The information collected through this partnership will help provide a better understanding of how well municipal services are understood, how they are valued, and which ones are a priority for residents.
With an earlier release date for this year’s survey, Oxford County will first share survey results across departments so that feedback can be considered before budgets are presented to Council. At the County, survey results will be shared with County Council during budget deliberations, which begin in the fall.
The 2018 budget survey is open for comment until July 31, 2017. It can be accessed online through Speak Up, Oxford! Paper copies of the survey are also available through participating municipal offices, Oxford County Library branches and at the Oxford County Administration Building.
Lynn Buchner, Director Corporate Services
“This survey is an easy way for residents to engage in the budget process and to have input into how tax dollars are spent in their community. The information collected helps identify which services and investments are important in each community, so we can work towards meeting the needs of all residents in a fiscally responsible way. By working with our municipal partners we hope to both inform about the services provided, and gain a better understanding of what matters most to Oxford residents, so we can prepare budgets that accurately reflect those priorities.”
About the County Budget
Through its approval ofOxford County operating and capital budgets, Council decides on the municipality’s priorities for the upcoming year by setting aside funds for each program or service.
This financial plan gives staff the guidelines and direction to allocate resources and provide services and infrastructure. An important part of the annual budget is the continued support of the County's financial planning for the future.
Property taxes are divided into three components:
- Education Levy.This is set by the Province of Ontario.Taxes are collected then remitted to area school boards.
- Area Municipal Tax Levy.This is set by your area municipality (Blandford-Blenheim, East Zorra-Tavistock, Ingersoll, Norwich, South-West Oxford, Tillsonburg, Woodstock or Zorra). It supports the services provided by your area municipality level, for instance, recreation, police and fire services.
- County Municipal Tax Levy.This is set by the County and supports the services provided at the County Level.
All Oxford County residents pay the same tax rate for County services, regardless of location, with the exception of properties within the City of Woodstock, where residents do not pay for County library services. In 2017, a residential home valued at $200,000 paid about $70 a month, or $835 for the year ($757 in Woodstock), for County services.
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About Oxford County
Located in the heart of southwestern Ontario, Oxford County has a population of approximately 111,700 people across eight municipalities that are “growing stronger together” through a partnership-oriented, two-tier municipal government incorporated as the County of Oxford. Oxford County is emerging as a leader in sustainable growth through the Future Oxford Community Sustainability Plan and County Council’s commitment to achieving 100% renewable energy by 2050 and becoming a zero waste community. Situated in one of Ontario’s richest areas for farmland, agriculture forms a cornerstone of the County’s economy, which boasts 55,000 jobs in a rapidly expanding commercial and industrial sector bolstered by its location at the crossroads of Highways 401 and 403. The County offers a thriving local arts, culture and culinary community, as well as conservation parks, natural areas and more than 100 kilometres of scenic trails. The Oxford County Administration Building is located in Woodstock. Visit www.oxfordcounty.ca or follow our social media sites at www.oxfordcounty.ca/social. Oxford County’s Strategic Plan is at oxfordcounty.ca/strategicplan.
Donna Kemp | Strategic Communication & Engagement
519.539.9800, ext. 3158 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Tommasina Conte êStrategic Communication & Engagement
519.539.9800, ext. 3503 êtconte@oxfordcounty.ca