Taxes to increase 3.5 per cent under pressure from provincial cuts, winter control costs

By Lindsay Advocate

Winter control costs have gone up for the City.

At the Special Council meeting on December 3, Council approved the 2020 Operating Budget. There will be a 3.5% increase to the tax levy, slightly below the forecasted increase in the long term financial plan.

Council received a presentation from Jennifer Stover, Director of Corporate Services. Stover noted that the Operating Budget is $205 million of a total municipal budget of $305 million. The Capital, Water and Wastewater and Special Project Budgets were adopted by Council on November 26 totalling $100 million.

Mayor says development charges should spur job creation for Kawartha LakesPressures on the budget such as reduced funding from other levels of government, increased winter control costs and waste management costs made it difficult to bring the budget in under target. Council supported adding $200,000 to the budget from the Child Care Reserve to make up for provincial reductions. This will support child care fee subsidies for up to 79 additional children in 2020 as a one-time transition until the provincial model has been solidified. The $400,000 in reductions to Paramedic funding from the province will be offset by internal budget adjustments. All boards and agencies were held to 2019 budget levels.

Council directed staff to provide a further $300,000 in reductions to the budget through operational efficiencies across the organization. These reductions will not impact service levels.

“This is a solid budget to see us through the needs of our community for 2020. I’m pleased that Council and staff have worked together to keep taxes affordable for our residents while continuing to invest in our infrastructure,” commented Mayor Andy Letham.

Council invested in enhanced services for 2020 in the following areas:

  • $1.2 million increase in maintenance of roads and bridges
  • Investment in recruitment and retention of healthcare practitioners
  • Accessible transit service (LIMO Transit) increased to seven days a week to meet community demands
  • Increased municipal investment in small business development through the Kawartha Lakes Small Business Entrepreneurship Centre (KLSBEC)

Mayor Letham shared, “We will continue to work closely with the province to tackle the pressures facing us in the coming years. Keeping our municipal finances as lean and efficient as possible continues to be the focus so that we can adapt as needed.”

The 2020 budgets include funding for minor staff increases to support enhanced service delivery. By leveraging grants, alternative funding sources and bringing work in-house where prudent, we’ve invested in staff with very minimal impact to the tax levy.

“I’m pleased that we’ve been able to look at innovative ways to deliver municipal services that ensure taxpayers receive top value for their dollar. We deliver over 200 services to residents of Kawartha Lakes. We do this by running a lean business model and leveraging all opportunities available to us,” commented Ron Taylor, CAO.

The final budget will be published online in the New Year.


  1. wayne says:

    Lindsay has the highest water bills in Ontario — where’s all that money go ? Seems like the people handling the money are incompetent.

  2. Ed says:

    I agree my water bill in Newmarket was never this high in a quarterly billing , my water bill is 300 plus a yearly quarter, I have no children just my wife and myself we are retire (65) and our tankless water heater that the builder installed given us no choice takes a few mins to get warm water to the kitchen tap , sucks

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