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Speak Up, Oxford!

County and area municipalities seek input into 2018 budgets
June 14, 2017
County and area municipalities seek input into 2018 budgets
Joint survey asked residents to share their thoughts on priorities for the upcoming year

For the second year in a row, Oxford County took 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 invited residents to learn more about how various programs and projects are funded and then asked participants to indicate whether the same services should be enhanced, maintained or reduced in the upcoming year. It also asked 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.

A partnership with area municipalities

In addition to questions about County-wide services, this year’s budget survey also gave respondents an opportunity to provide input at the area municipal level. Oxford County 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 this fall.

The 2018 budget survey is now closed.

 

About the County Budget

Through its approval of Oxford 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:

  1. Education Levy. This is set by the Province of Ontario.Taxes are collected then remitted to area school boards.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.