The United Counties of Prescott and Russell (UCPR) 2023 budget has been adopted, with the 3.53 per cent tax levy increase the eight mayors had agreed upon in December 2022.

“There are no surprises in the report I’m presenting today since the past three budget meetings,” Treasurer Valérie Parisien said on January 11, before UCPR council adopted the budget by-law.

In 2022, the UCPR collected $52,221,100 in property taxes. In 2023, including growth, it is projected to collect $55,575,000 in property valuation. The amount of valuation growth across the UCPR in 2022 was $451,542,909 in Current Value Assessment (CVA). The actual tax rates will be adopted by council in March or April. However, the property valuations used for determining those rates will be based on the 2020 valuation.

Average residential property value of $277,000

The average CVA value of a residential property in the UCPR is $277,000. The 3.53 per cent levy increase will mean an additional $42 on the property tax bill for properties at the average value in 2023. The 3.53 per cent increase also represents an increase of $15 per $100,000 of a property’s assessed value.

The total value of the 2023 operations budget is $179,058,200. In 2022, the total value of the operations budget was $25,045,600 less.

Out of the entire projected $55,575,000 in UCPR tax revenue for 2023, 70 per cent, or $39,160,600, goes to the operations budget. Seven per cent, or $3,650,600, goes to reserves and reserve funds. The remaining 23 percent, or $12,764,500, goes to the capital budget.

The total value of the 2023 UCPR capital budget is $62,894,400. The largest portion of the capital budget in 2023 is $39,538,000 for the Prescott and Russell Residence, due to the ongoing construction its new 224-bed facility in Hawkesbury, which is expected to open in 2024.

Public Works, which includes the UCPR’s road network, is the second highest expense in the capital budget. In 2023, $21,253,400 has been allocated for Public Works capital projects. The third highest area of expense in the 2023 capital budget at $837,000 is the ambulance service.

The motion to adopt the 2023 UCPR Budget bylaw was moved by Casselman Mayor Geneviève Lajoie. It was seconded by The Nation Mayor Francis Brière before being unanimously approved by council.