Help build the 2022 County Budget

Trent Hills Tribune

County launches simulation tool to engage community in budget process

Northumberland County is launching public consultation on development of the 2022 County Budget. How would you invest next year’s budget to meet the needs of the community? What programs, services and infrastructure investments matter most to you? From August 3 – 31, 2021 the County is inviting community members to share their thoughts on these questions and more by building their preferred budget using our new interactive budget simulation tool. 

The Balancing Act budget simulation tool enables community members to try their hand at allocating the proposed 2022 County Budget; simulating changes to spending and revenue across County services. Each option includes details about potential related impacts to the overall budget and to the individual taxpayer. Participants can use the tool to emphasize their budget priorities while also learning more about the services provided by the upper-tier level of government in Northumberland. All feedback submitted by August 31 will be compiled into a report and shared with the Finance & Audit Committee on October 5, 2021, with a recommendation that the information be shared at the October 20, 2021 meeting of County Council as an important input to Council’s 2022 Budget review and deliberation process.

“Each year, Northumberland County follows a rigorous process to create an annual budget that supports the delivery of the municipal programs and services on which our community relies. Public consultation is a vital part of this process,” states County Director of Finance and Treasurer Glenn Dees. “In continuous pursuit of strengthening public engagement in the budget process, we will be piloting a budget simulation tool this year. This is one more way for us to connect with our residents and businesses and ensure that we are building a budget that reflects community priorities for program and service delivery.”

The annual budget process kicks off each year in June, with County Council providing direction to staff on a target property tax increase around which to build the next year’s budget. A budget is then developed between July and November based on this target and presented to Council for review and deliberation in December.

Annual target property tax increases are established by Council for the initial drafting of the County Budget based on several factors that typically impact the budget, including inflation and increases in construction costs. Council strives to ensure financing for effective municipal operations while being mindful of the pressures facing Northumberland taxpayers. In June 2021, Council confirmed a target property tax increase of 1.5 per cent for the 2022 County Budget. The simulation tool is based on this proposed budget.

“Like every household and business, municipal councils are budgeting for challenging times, navigating a shift in focus from pandemic response to economic recovery while maintaining quality, sustainable municipal services,” states County Warden Bob Crate. “I encourage residents and businesses to help shape our way forward by participating in the 2022 Budget Consultation. The choices you make in building your own budget using the simulation tool will help County Council make informed decisions about the allocation of tax dollars in the 2022 County Budget and over the long-term.”

To participate in the 2022 Budget Consultation, community members are invited to visit Join In Northumberland ( – the County’s online consultation portal. The budget simulation tool will remain open until August 31, 2021.

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