Muskoka District Council has approved the 2023 Tax-Supported Budget, focused on building a strong and healthy community.
The budget includes critical funding for essential infrastructure, investments in long-term care, health services and support programs, and services for our community including funding to combat the homelessness crisis.
As a result of the approved 2023 Tax-Supported Operating Budget and the amendments considered, property owners will see a tax increase of 4.15% over last year, resulting in a tax increase of $37.08, based on a property assessed at $300,000.
Every day, our communities use District programs and services, many available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is important residents know what the District is responsible for, and how the Budget investments help keep Muskoka a great place to live and work. It’s what we do.
Infrastructure: Investments to Support Safe and Accessible Communities
Maintaining and improving the District’s infrastructure is a critical part of the budget – with our growing population, it’s essential to keep pace with the needs of our community. Muskoka District Council is committed to building and preserving infrastructure that our residents can trust.
Infrastructure Investment Highlights:
- $3.8 Million – bridge improvements and rehabilitation work to ensure the safe connection between communities
- $18.4 Million – road maintenance and improvement projects to preserve, protect and keep roads safe and to keep Muskoka moving
- $1.6 Million – community housing renewal and rehabilitation projects to ensure the ongoing safe operation of our housing units
Health Care: Supporting the Health and Wellbeing of Our Community
Muskoka District Council is committed to investing in the health and well-being of our residents, with a commitment to high quality care. Critical funding to support the future of our hospitals, long-term care homes and paramedic services is key to ensure our commitments can be delivered, and those in need are supported. Muskoka District Council is committed to supporting community initiatives that will make a positive impact on the lives of its residents.
Health Care Investment Highlights:
- $94 Million – Fairvern Long-Term Care Home transition, “Moving Home” in 2025 to a state-of-the-art 160 bed Home
- $1.4 Million – saving to support Hospital redevelopment in Huntsville and Bracebridge
- $5.7 Million – new Paramedic Station in West Muskoka
Combatting Homelessness: Muskoka Cares
The heartbreaking reality of homelessness in our community demands attention, and commitments have been made to take action. Muskoka District Council is committed to investing in initiatives to address this crisis and support our most vulnerable populations – these are priorities to contribute to a brighter future for all.
Homelessness Investment Highlights:
- $573 Thousand – investment in programs and services to support and address the increase in those experiencing or at risk of homelessness since the start of the pandemic,
- Enhanced collaboration with community organizations and agencies to ensure our vulnerable residents are aware of, and can access available supports and resources
The Environment: The Reason We Live Here
As a community surrounded by natural beauty, we are blessed to live in Muskoka – but this comes with great responsibility to ensure the environment is protected. A firm commitment to recognize and consider the environment in all projects is a priority. Muskoka District Council is supporting the promotion and awareness of education throughout the community, including initiatives to encourage sustainable practices and partnerships to protect the environment, together.
Environment Investment Highlights:
- $781 Thousand – programming and resources to advance Environmental and Watershed initiatives and various climate actions
- $250 Thousand – additional flood plain mapping to improve flood management response and help everyone understand their flood risk
- Continued support for Muskoka Watershed Council and ongoing support for Integrated Watershed Management initiatives, including various other environmental projects and processes
2023 Budget: Putting Our Community First, It’s What We Do
The approval of the 2023 Tax-Supported Budget reflects Muskoka District Council’s commitment to investing in Muskoka’s infrastructure, environment and community initiatives. These investments will keep Muskoka moving and ensure all residents and visitors have access to safe and sustainable resources.
“Putting together the Budget is a complex task that requires careful consideration and extensive research. We understand the budget has a profound impact on our community, that’s why we work hard to examine every dollar spent. We strive to make sure this is not just a financial plan – but a blueprint for a prosperous, vibrant and thriving community. The residents of Muskoka deserve nothing less than our best efforts, and we continue to work to ensure our budget reflects that commitment.”
– Julie Stevens, Chief Administrative Officer – District of Muskoka
“We’re facing new and demanding realities, including increased inflation and the fact that everything costs more. This well-crafted budget allows us to maintain our infrastructure, prepare for the future, and address challenges we continue to face. Staff have prepared a budget that maintains service levels, responds to growth-related pressures, and includes investments that have a meaningful impact to all members of our community. I’m proud to say this budget achieves all of this, while staying below current inflation.”
– Suzanne Olimer, Commissioner, Finance and Corporate Services – District of Muskoka
“Muskoka District Council has approved a budget that is not just a collection of numbers and figures – but a reflection of our commitment to our community. I think we’ve struck a balance between our immediate priorities and needs for the future, and actions to tackle the more challenging issues we are facing, such as the housing crisis. District Council is taking some really important steps here to invest in health care capacity, the environment, housing, and other priorities we have heard about from our residents.”
– Jeff Lehman, District Chair – Muskoka District Council
The District of Muskoka’s 2023 Tax-Supported Budget documents are available online at www.muskoka.on.ca/budgets, including a copy of the presentation and a link to the webcast.
- The District’s taxes are collected through the lower-tier municipal property tax bill. There is a greater efficiency having one point of collection, rather than having each of us bill you separately. It also saves you making two separate payments – we work together with our area municipalities to make this easier for our property owners.
- Moody’s Investor Service rating for the District has improved from Aa2 to Aa1. Improving this rating, decreases the cost of borrowing in the open market for the District and area municipalities. Moody’s Investors Service’s ratings system assigns ratings from Aaa to C, with Aaa being the highest quality and C the lowest quality. Aa1 is the second highest rating.