Windsor city council passes 2021 budget with 0% tax increase
Windsor City Hall in Windsor, Ont. on Monday, Feb. 5, 2021. (Rich Garton/CTV Windsor)
WINDSOR, ONT. -- Windsor city council passed a budget with no property tax increase after a 10-hour debate on Monday night.
It was possible because the city chose not to fund an estimated $38-million budget shortfall caused by decreased revenues and added costs from the pandemic.
The city is leaving those additional costs unbudgeted, hoping for financial help from upper levels of government.
“Everything’s being done for the right reasons and trying to respond appropriately in the middle of this pandemic that we’re all stuck in,” says Windsor mayor Drew Dilkens.
Some highlights include record spending on an affordable housing regeneration plan and a five per cent budget bump for Transit Windsor.
Council also approved a four-month pilot project to run a new east end to St. Clair college bus line.
The college will pitch in half the cost of the pilot and look into establishing a school-wide transit pass.
Council also pre-approved an extended patio season from April 1 to November 15 – once again, waiving patio and parklette fees for small businesses.
Along with these additions – council approved a 10-year, $1.6 billion dollar capital budget, with most of the spending on roads and sewers.
Ward 2 Councillor Fabio Costante says it is a budget of positioning for the great unknowns.
“It’s a budget about building a more resilient and a more adaptable city,” says Costante. “And yeah, we’ve got a lot of work to do, but this is a foundation that will set ourselves up for better success as we move into unchartered territories.”
With files from CTV Windsor's Rich Garton.