Essa hopes to maintain lowest tax rate in Simcoe County

Essa Township is poised to maintain its position of having one of the lowest total tax rates in Simcoe County.

The township’s proposed total tax rate increase for 2024 could also be less than last year.

Essa held its initial 2024 budget session this past week and, despite a wide variety of challenges, delivered a municipal tax increase of 10.05 per cent, a decrease from 2023’s 12.3 per cent increase.

The township's 2024 tax levy will be around $11.8 million, which is a little over $1 million more than last year.

The total tax increase, which includes the municipal portion, the county’s portion and the education portion, is projected to be 6.01 per cent — .07 per cent less than last year’s 6.08 per cent total tax increase.

This means a single-family home assessed at $394,000 will pay $3,102 in total taxes in 2024 or $176 more than 2023.

Total taxes on that same home in Springwater Township in 2023 were $3,450. In Innisfil, a similarly assessed home would have paid a total tax bill of $4,243 in 2023.

Like every other municipality in Ontario, Essa has been hit hard by factors out of its control, including reduced funding from the provincial government, inflation, escalating costs of living, building materials, gas and construction.

For example, the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund (OMPF) reduced its payment to Essa by $141,200 — $800,400 in 2024 compared to $941,600 in 2023 — and insurance premiums rose by almost $72,000.

Theses are the new major line items Essa is looking at for its 2024 operating budget:

The township will host its next budget session on Nov. 15 beginning at 3 p.m. in the Council Chambers at the Essa Township Administration Centre.

Wayne Doyle, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter,