By Cecilia Nasmith/Today’s Northumberland
Cobourg’s new Treasurer Adam Giddings made his first report to council at Monday’s committee-of-the-whole meeting, reporting on plans surrounding his first budget – the one for 2024.
Following the vote, council will provide direction to staff to target a net levy increase of 5% (in the form of a 6% levy increase abated by a 1% growth in new assessment).
Giddings referred council to his analysis for context, pointing out that the 2024 target increase represents a decrease from the actual net increase for 2023 of 6.6%.
He had also analyzed past budgets since 2019 in terms of the rate of inflation at the time, pointing out that – in most cases – the increase in levy did not keep pace with those increases.
Stating that he did not wish to cast aspersions, Councillor Randy Barber said that the town had eventually paid the cost for levy increases that did not keep up with inflation. Pointing out that inflation had gone down from 6.8% in 2022 to 4.12% last year, he commented, “I think we are protecting ourselves in 2024.”
Asked about a schedule for the budget process, Giddings said he has been working on one.
“We are looking at mid-December for some presentations to the public and getting some feedback,” he projected.