Residents will see a bit of tax relief thanks to the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville’s 2021 Budget. 

In passing the budget for this year, council voted to reduce the 2021 tax rate by 0.05 percent, and the Counties will collect $41.9-million from property taxpayers this year. 

Chief Administrative Officer for the United Counties Andy Brown says the reduced tax rate should see residents save more than they have in years past. 

“We’re talking maybe a few dollars for each resident, it’s not significant, but what we can say is that it should not be more than a few dollars unless you’ve done major improvements to your home, or a new addition, or put up new builds, or something of that nature,” Brown said. 

The 2021 budget ensures that all Counties services will be maintained, and will help the Counties proceed with two major capital projects, the County Road 43 expansion, and the redevelopment of Mapleview Lodge in Athens.

Brown says they expect the Counties to go to tender with County Road 43, later this year. 

“We’re not sure how much if any construction will physically take place this year, but it will be already in place for 2022 at the latest,” Brown said. “We expect it to be a 2-3 year project.” 

The approved budget provides for total expenditures of $108.5-million with capital expenditures accounting for $31.6 million. 

Meanwhile, the majority of the Counties operating budget includes funding for Leeds and Grenville Paramedic Service, Ontario Works, Child Care, Community Housing, Maple View Lodge, and Public Works.

Brown says fortunately, the budget saw no negative impact resulting from the pandemic.

“There were no cutbacks or reduction in levels of services, and fortunately, we’ve have some provincial funding that has helped us over the past year and into this year to assist us during the pandemic,” he said.”