Draft budget focuses on housing and homelessness, long-term care, paramedic services and other priorities under the new Strategic Plan

Draft 2024 budget coverOxford County began its 2024 Business Plan and Budget process yesterday at the first of two special budget meetings of County Council.

The 2024 draft budget proposes a total budget of $349 million to operate and sustain Oxford County services next year, $244.9 million to fund operations and $104.1 million for capital projects.

The proposed amount to be collected through the tax levy—how the County collects its share of property taxes through the eight area municipalities—is currently estimated at $86.9 million after other source of funding and revenue are considered. This represents a 15% overall increase from 2023. An estimate for the final impact on the County’s portion of residential and other types of property taxes will be presented at the regular County Council meeting on November 22.

The County’s municipal tax levy does not necessarily result in a 15% increase on final property tax bills. Property taxes are made up of County taxes, local area municipal taxes, and taxes for education. Municipal taxes are also impacted by the annual assessment growth report by MPAC (Municipal Property Assessment Corporation), which calculates changes in a community’s tax base through increases in assessment related to new construction and improvements to existing properties.

In the 2024 Budget survey, respondents said that housing, paramedic services and long-term care should be considered priorities in the upcoming budget. Key areas of investment in the draft 2024 budget include water and wastewater (27%), roads (19%), human (social) services including housing (18%), and long-term care at Woodingford Lodge (11%).

New initiatives in the proposed draft budget include a homelessness response strategy ($2.8 million); a heavy equipment loader for the Waste Management program ($1.05 million); upgrades to critical wastewater trunk sewers and infrastructure ($334,501); payroll and scheduling technology ($283,000); and other projects that support housing, healthcare services, buildings and facilities, and information technology.

As part of the budget process, County Council will also consider $327,000 in community grant requests, spanning Social Planning Council Oxford, Oxford Creative Connections, Oxford Connection for economic development, The Small Business Centre–Oxford and more.

The 2024 Budget was developed by County staff to respond to Council’s direction in the new 2023-2026 Strategic Plan. The new plan puts forward 11 goals and 39 initiatives across three broad pillars: Promoting community vitality, Enhancing environmental sustainability, and Fostering progressive government

Oxford County’s budget process begins in spring with the annual budget survey, followed by development of department budgets and vetting through the senior management team over summer and fall. County Council is currently reviewing a draft version of the budget through the special budget meetings, with final deliberation and review for approval taking place at the regular Council meeting on December 13, 2023.

The draft budget document, presentations and recordings of special budget meetings are available on Speak Up, Oxford! at www.oxfordcounty.ca/speakup.



Marcus Ryan, Warden, Oxford County

“This is the first budget guided by Council’s new 2023-2026 Strategic Plan, making it our opportunity to deliver on the commitments we’ve made to our communities. Council has set an ambitious agenda for this term at the same time that the County is facing significant cost pressures, not only inflation but also the increased costs for social services, healthcare, and infrastructure that follow when our communities grow. It is now the work of Council to consider what is in the budget: the costs, the impacts to our services, and how it positions us to meet our vision of a healthy, vibrant, and sustainable future.”


Quick facts

  • Oxford County residents do not pay taxes directly to the County. The County tax levy is added to the tax bill in each area municipality and then transferred to the County from Blandford-Blenheim, East Zorra-Tavistock, Ingersoll, Norwich, South-West Oxford, Tillsonburg, Woodstock and Zorra. The County's annual budget is then financed by these tax levies as well as government funding, reserve funding, and fees from development charges, water and wastewater, etc.
  • Tax levies collected by the County are used to:
    • maintain and manage County infrastructure, including bridges and highways, drinking water, wastewater, storm water management, and garbage and recycling;
    • deliver social services, ambulance, and long-term care services directed by the provincial government;
    • provide development and community planning for each area municipality and the County as a whole;
    • maintain county-wide information systems, library services and archives; and,
    • administer the Provincial Offences Court.
  • Oxford County's fiscal (financial) year is from January 1 to December 31.


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About Oxford County

Located in the heart of southwestern Ontario at the crossroads of Highways 401 and 403, Oxford County has a population of approximately 130,000 people across eight area municipalities that are “growing stronger together.” As a partnership-oriented, two-tier municipal government, 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, becoming a zero waste community and working towards zero poverty. Situated in one of Ontario’s richest areas for farmland, agriculture is a key industry that is driving innovation in sustainable industries and diversifying the local economy. Oxford 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, Ontario. 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