The trend of municipalities adopting their budgets before the new calendar year continues across the region.  Brownsburg-Chatham council held a special meeting on December 11 and unanimously approved the town’s 2020 budget.  Councillors Antoine Laurin and Kévin Maurice were absent.

The balanced budget contains $12,773,170 in revenues and expenses, which is a five per cent or $12,148,990 more than the 2019 budget.  No surplus is projected.

In 2019, the municipality collected $9,558,640 in tax revenue.  That will increase by 5.2 per cent in 2020 to $10,077,820.  Taxes and similar charges will account for 79 per cent of Brownsburg-Chatham’s revenue in the year ahead.

The residential tax rate is increasing from 70 cents per $100 of a property’s value to 71 cents, which was the rate in 2018.  For example, the 2020 taxes on a property valued at $100,000 will be approximately $1,508.46.

The commercial rate is now $1.83 per $100 valuation.  It was previously $1.79 per $100.

The tax rate for vacant land not connected to municipal services like watermains or sewers is now 44 cents per $100 of the property value.  The tax rate on vacant land with services has increased to $1.42 per $100 of value after decreasing by three cents to $1.40 in the 2019 budget.

Owners of apartment properties of six or more dwellings will pay one cent more per $100 of the property value in 2019, bringing the amount to 82 cents.

The industrial rate is increasing to $2.44 per $100 of value from $2.40 per $100.  The agricultural rate is now 66 cents per $100 of the property value.  In 2019, it was 64 cents.

The second-largest source of revenue for the municipality is a source that could be easily least-suspected.  The municipal campground and marina, located by the Ottawa River in Cushing is anticipated to account for nine per cent or $1,195,000 of municipal revenue in 2020, which is an increase of $88,700 from 2019.  The town has invested significantly in improvements to the marina and campground in recent years.

Grants from other levels of government are the third-largest source of revenue in the 2020 budget at $510,380, or four per cent.  That amount is an increase of $9,230 or 1.8 per cent from $501,150 in 2019.

On the expense side of the budget, the largest amount at 20 per cent or $2,589,980 is for public works.  The second largest expense is financial fees and capital reimbursements at 15 per cent or $1,919,930.  Administration and financial management costs are the third-largest expenditure at $1,347,970 or 11 per cent.

In 2020, Brownsburg-Chatham will contribute $1,009,360 or eight per cent of the town budget to the MRC d’Argenteuil.  That is an increase of $127,270 or 12 per cent from 2019 when it was $882,090.

Mayor Catherine Trickey said some expenses are impossible to control.

Director-General Hervé Rivet said those include the amounts for the MRC and policing from the Sûreté du Québec (SQ).

Brownsburg Chatham spent $1,036,170 on SQ service in 2019.  In 2020, it will be $1,073,689, or eight per cent of the budget.

Rivet said the budget was significantly increased for the fire department as part of a continued effort to bring it up to the national average.  The 2020 fire protection budget is six per cent of the town budget.  In 2019, $656,990 was spent on the service and the amount for the 2020 budget is $796,350, which is a 21 per cent increase from the previous year.