Financial Facts - Summary

This analysis just presented was developed using the audit financial statements that are available on the cityís website at www.owensound.ca - a summary of which is shown below.  The analysis did not include the year 2021 since the audited financials for this year have not yet been posted to the cityís website. The raw data used to produce the graphs shown below. All of the data, including the established trends and projections can be easily reproduced and verified from the cityís audited financial statements.  They present a factual historical record of how past Councils allowed expenses to grow over the years and how Councilís decisions resulted in a pattern of steadily increasing taxes. 

Owen Sound taxes grew at nearly twice the rate of inflation between 2011 and 2020.  Each year taxes grew on average by $900 thousand for a total growth of nearly $8 million during the study period. If Council had restricted tax increases to inflation taxpayers would have saved $4 million dollars.

By far the department that grew the most was Transportation Services which grew by $3.8 million or 79.9%.  Also notable was Protective Services which grew by $3.9 million which represented a growth of 29.8%.  It is also noteworthy that in 2018 Owen Sounds Transit costs were significantly higher than similarly sized municipalities.

While this section of this paper presented the facts, the next section will offer some analysis and suggestions which will include opinions of the author. The ideas and suggestions that you are about to read are not intended to represent the only way ahead, but rather are designed to stimulate community discussion aimed at developing solutions that are inclusive of the vast diversity of opinions within our community. So I encourage readers to present alternate ideas and solutions that they feel are more appropriate, including arguments in favour of the status quo. It is also important to keep in mind that this is a high-level look at operations. When you start to drill down to the detail at the departmental level some suggested solutions may not be realizable..

Reported Operations in the City's Audited Financials 2011 to 2020