UPDATE: CK proposes 4.74 per cent tax increase as inflation drives up 2022 budget

Chatham-Kent Civic Centre, July 23, 2015. (Photo by Mike Vlasveld)

Municipal budget talks in Chatham-Kent will start with a proposed tax increase of 4.74 per cent.

The 2022 proposed budget could cost homeowners an additional $142 a year.

Chatham-Kent Chief Financial Officer Gord Quinton said infrastructure and inflation are really where the costs come from.

Inflation makes up 4.41 per cent of the overall proposed budget, with 2.93 per cent covering the increase in current services and 1.48 per cent covering inflation on infrastructure.

“Inflation is our largest challenge to our budget,” Quinton said. “Replacing infrastructure, large bridges, and improving storm sewers costs a significant amount in this budget.”

The proposed 2022 budget calls for 1.56 per cent more in spending on infrastructure, which will enable the municipality to maintain its assets, replace aging infrastructure and large bridges, as well as improve storm sewers.

“Everyone is familiar with our infrastructure dilemma,” municipal officials said in a media release. “Chatham-Kent is over 2,500 square kilometres and we have a lot of roads, bridges, and culverts to maintain.”

Mayor Darrin Canniff said the municipality has been behind in its spending on infrastructure. As the community continues to grow, he said the increase is necessary for the overall quality of life.

“We don’t have enough in our [current] budget to replace and deal with all the infrastructure that we have right now,” said Canniff. “We have to increase that. So, that it’s being very responsible for the next council moving forward as well.”

The proposed budget has an overall increase of 1.64 per cent or $8,014,263.

Other key areas of focus will include maintaining community assets, supporting at-risk areas within the municipality, and other capital projects.

More information on municipal budget details can be found here.

Community consultations will take place online next week on January 19 and 20, with deliberations to follow the week after. Consultations will be broadcast on the Municipality of Chatham-Kent’s Facebook Live feed.

All budget meetings will be broadcast live on YourTV as well as live-streamed on the YourTV YouTube channel.