At last night's council meeting we approved the budget for 2009 as well as what should be considered a draft budget for 2011. Of course there is always a lot of public comment & media coverage with municipal budgets and taxes in general. Usually the discussion rotates around how much the taxes are or how much they are going up rather than what they are paring for.
So I thought I'd try to find a little different way to show what your monthly taxes will be paying for in 2009.
The charts below are based on a house valued at $350,000. Using the city's online tax estimator tool we can find out that the approximate municipal tax bill will be $2271.04 per year, or $189.25 per month.
This first chart shows roughly how much of that $189.25 per month goes to different city departments.
All the numbers shown in the chart are in dollars. For example; of that $189.04 monthly tax bill, $61.43 goes to pay for the Protective Services department, $9.74 goes to Transit and $2.39 supports the activities and expenses of Council.
Protective Services Breakdown
This second chart breaks it down even further by looking at the $61.43 per month in the Protective Services Area. Of that total $31.69 per month goes towards paying for RCMP and $23.82 pays for the Fire Department.
So, someone living in a house valued at $350,000 is paying approximately:
• $32 per month for access to round the clock, 365 day a year RCMP service
• $24 per month for access to round the clock, 365 day a year professional Fire Fighting service
Ok, ok... I know it's likely that breaking it down this way isn't going to change how one feels about paying taxes. I do hope that it at least give a little perspective on the "value for dollar" that your local government is providing.
By an interesting coincidence, the chart that inspired me shows that residents in Guelph are paying a similar amount for fire protection.