Chatham-Kent council is presenting their draft budget tonight with all signs pointing to a potential increase in taxes.

In August of last year, Chatham-Kent council approved taking a look at service levels in a bid to achieve a zero percent budget target for this year’s budget. Administration provided a number of options on how to get to a 0% increase, but council was not able to pull the trigger on reducing service levels and made the admission that a zero percent budget is not going to happen this year.

Without reducing the level of services provided, the continued download of social programs from upper levels of government to property tax payers, and with limited authority to raise other forms of revenues, Chatham-Kent, and all similar municipalities in Ontario are generally raising taxes in the 3-8% range, with few exceptions.

A large number of citizens have already made their views known, with 1,780 participants sharing their feedback in an online survey a few months ago.

If you want a say on where your tax money is spent, you have until 3 p.m. on Wednesday to make a written deputation to the budget committee by emailing

There will be three opportunities for public input have with question and answer sessions on Facebook scheduled as follows: Tuesday, January 19 from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, January 20 from 4 to 5 p.m. and Thursday, January 21 from 6 to 7 p.m.

Budget committee deliberations will take place on Jan. 27 and 28, as well as Feb. 2. If more time is needed time has been set aside on Feb. 3 and 4.

All budget deliberation meetings will be broadcast live on YourTV as well as live streamed on YourTV’s YouTube channel.