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Richmond Hill Approves Modest Property Tax Increase Of 1.96% - January 12, 2010

2010 Budget Home
Contacts: Councillor Arnie Warner
Budget Chair
(905) 771-2535
Dean Miller
Commissioner of Corporate & Financial Services
(905) 771-2497

Town to see unprecedented $50 million worth of capital works this year

RICHMOND HILL – Monday night, Town of Richmond Hill Council approved the 2010 Budget with an operating component of $116.8 million and capital expenditures of $21.5 million, resulting in a 1.96 per cent residential property tax increase.

“This year’s budget demonstrates our understanding of the pressures that our residents are feeling and Council has responded with the approval of a fiscally sound 2010 Budget,” said Mayor Dave Barrow. “This budget enables the residents of Richmond Hill to continue the same standard of living they have come to expect while also investing in our future with major infrastructure projects and maintaining our debt-free status.”

The 2010 Operating Budget includes:

·    $16.7 million for Fire & Emergency Services;
·    $11.8 million for Parks, Community Centres, Pools & Arenas;
·    $8.2 million for Road Related Maintenance & Snow Removal;
·    $6.1 million for Libraries;
·    $6.1 million invested in reserve funds for future repairs and replacement; and
·    $5.0 million for Waste Management.

“Over the past year we heard from our residents through projects like the Strategic Plan and Official Plan about the importance they place on the services that they receive,” said the Mayor. “And while no new permanent staff have been added, this approved budget provides for certain service enhancements, such as increased parks maintenance, a summer drop-in program for low-income families, extended hours at the Oak Ridges library and confirmation of a new Fire Station near Yonge Street and Gamble Road.”

“The Town uses a four-year budget cycle as well as a 10-year capital works program and both are reviewed each year,” said Budget Chair, Councillor Arnie Warner. “We also have reserve funds we can draw on to help us offset costs, which allows us to keep the tax increase this year to a minimum.”

The 2010 Capital Budget of $21.5 million includes $3.8 million grant funded projects from the Gas Tax Fund and the Investing In Ontario Fund. Further to this, there will be an additional $29.5 million worth of Federal and Provincial infrastructure grant projects undertaken in 2010.

“Thanks to the Federal and Provincial grant funding we’ve received, Richmond Hill will be seeing an unprecedented $50 million worth of capital-funded projects this year,” said Mayor Barrow. “Also important to note is that the Town was able to access and leverage infrastructure grant funding because we were prepared logistically and financially.”

For a Richmond Hill residential property assessed at $430,000, the tax increase translates into $22.65 annually or $0.06 per day. The Town also collects taxes on behalf of the Region of York for the services it provides and the Province for education and forwards those monies on to them. The Town only keeps approximately 25 cents of every property tax dollar paid by residents. The remaining 75 cents is divided up to cover services provided by the Region and the School Boards (approximately 50 and 25 cents respectively).

“I am also proud that Council has confirmed the Seniors’ Property Tax Assistance Grant program this year at $275 per each eligible recipient,” said Councillor Warner. “We continue to assist the most vulnerable members of our community with this grant and have indexed the amount over last year.”

“The 2010 Budget, along with the upcoming approval of the new Official Plan later this year, will bring excitement and a whole lot of new opportunities for Richmond Hill,” said Mayor Barrow. “And thanks to the careful and prudent financial planning by Council and staff, as well as the involved community we have, the future of Richmond Hill is bright.”

For more information on the Town’s 2010 Budget, refer to the attached backgrounder. More information, including answers to questions, charts, graphs and previous year budgets can also be found by visiting

*Please see attached “Backgrounder: Budget 2010” for more information. 

Backgrounder: Budget 2010
Tax Impact Breakdown – 1.96%
Operating budget = $116.8 million
Capital budget = $21.5 million
Town Portion of Residential Tax Bill
Tax Bill Breakdown Pie Chart
Budget “Quarter” Breakdown For Town Services
Cost %   Town Service
6 cents   23%   Fire services
3 cents   11%   Town owned buildings
2 cents 9%   Parks maintenance and operations
2 cents 9%   Contribution to reserve funds
2 cents 8%   Library services   
2 cents 7%   Organics, recycling & waste collection
2 cents 7%   Road and related maintenance  
1 cent   5%   Recreation and special events   
1 cent   4%   Winter maintenance and snow clearing 
4 cent 17%   Other (including general government and repair and replacement)
25 cents  100%  TOTAL  

Estimated Tax Increase Amounts For Various Sample Home Assessment Values

Tax Impact in Dollars
Property Assessment Value

Budget Approval Highlights

The 2010 Budget:
Maintains Service Levels
Minimizes Tax Increases
Contains An Unprecedented Amount In Capital-Funded Projects
Plans For Our Future


Customer Service
Extended hours of service at the Oak Ridges Library, opening Mondays commencing in June 2010
Accessibility upgrades in the arenas, and continued commitment to meeting the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act requirements
Continuation of a Town-wide beautification pilot project involving debris clean-up and graffiti reporting
Greater focus on water resources and storm water programs
Community Safety
Confirmation of new Fire Station at Yonge Street and Gamble Road with an anticipated first full year of operation in 2013
Revenue and facility costs for the new fire and rescue training facility at Fire Headquarters
Full year impact of the new animal control contract with extended patrol hours

Recreation & Culture
Summer drop-in playground program for low income families
Focus on preserving the Town’s artifacts collection
Increased park maintenance in the absence of pesticide use
Conservative increase in investment income to reflect improved investment climate
Full year impact of the expanded Operations Centre
A $10 increase in the Seniors Tax Assistance Grant to $275 per eligible applicant

Richmond Hill will see an unprecedented level of capital activity in 2010 taking into consideration the construction projects funded from the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund and the Recreational Infrastructure Canada Program during the latter part of 2009. Those projects include:

Infrastructure Stimulus Funds (ISF)
Eyer Homestead historical house renovation (venue will eventually be used to provide expanded programs for school-aged children from kindergarten to grade 8)
George Forster historical house and barn restoration (venue will eventually be used to deliver youth programs for ages 12 to 18)
Elgin Barrow Arena rehabilitation (increasing accessibility and provision of gender appropriate facilities through renovation of dressing rooms and washrooms, roof and exterior replacement, renewal of community rooms, energy efficiency improvements and solar heating water system)
Axminister Drive, Claridge Drive, Leisure Lane road reconstructions
Recreational Infrastructure Canada (RInC) Funds
Bond Lake Arena rehabilitation (replacing aging ice pad built in 1972 to allow year-round skating for the first time in the community, addition of elevator to increase accessibility, roof replacement, energy efficient improvements and renewal energy such as solar heating water system)
Richmond Green west soccer field renewal (artificial turf - construction of east field is included in the 2010 capital program of which the design was included in 2009)
Crosby Park soccer field renewal (artificial turf and lights)
Crosby Park tennis courts rehabilitation
Dorothy Price Park play structure and pathway replacement and Shaun Beggs Park play structure replacement (both include: junior and senior play structures, play area surface and edging, trail, furniture and plantings)

Investing in Ontario Fund
Road and watermain reconstructions: Alverna Road, Becker Road, Bonita Crescent, Felix Road and Sussex Avenue

Gas Tax Fund
Bond Lake Arena – install heaters for arena seating, energy efficient lighting and building automation system
Install solar energy pool heating system at Centennial Pool
Replace and upgrade heat pumps, boilers, water heaters and lighting with energy efficient units
Replace dehumidifying systems in arenas

Customer Service
Expanded library collection
Information technology investments to strategically improve infrastructure and systems
Computer telephony integration for the Town’s contact centre, Access Richmond Hill

Gardiner Crescent storm sewer rehabilitation
Environmental assessment in preparation of the design of Rumble Pond rehabilitation
Rouge Watershed capital needs assessment (last of four studies before a long term capital plan can be presented)
Continued storm water projects

Community Safety
Streetlights – Yonge Street (between Gamble Road and Tower Hill Drive) and Major Mackenzie Drive (between Frank Endean Road and Forestwood Street)
Implement ultraviolet sanitizing systems at all pools to improve indoor air quality

Recreation & Culture
Elvis Stojko Arena roof repairs
Richmond Green east soccer field artificial turf facility construction
Playground designs for the Mary Dawson redevelopment and Tannery Park redevelopment
Red Maple Park phase two design and construction
Playground structure replacements: Glenbrae Park senior structure, Good Brothers Parkette senior structure, Harrington Park junior and senior structures, and Skopit Parkette junior structure
Road and watermain reconstructions: Knollside Drive, Laverock Avenue, Lucas Street and Penstock Court
Richmond Street watermain reconstruction
Bloomington Road sidewalk construction between Bathurst Street to Yonge Street
Environmental assessment for Highway 404 flyover north of 16th Avenue
Vehicles and equipment for road and park operations



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