Cambridge City Council approves Budget & Business Plan for 2024

Posted on Tuesday February 13, 2024

Cambridge, Ontario. (February 13, 2024) – Today, Cambridge City Council approved the Budget and Business Plan for 2024. For Cambridge taxpayers, this represents a 2.58 per cent increase to the overall residential tax bill, which is below the current rate of inflation of 3.4 per cent. For the average home valued at $333,200, this will mean an increase of approximately $112 per year, or $9.30 per month for over 140 local programs and services.

As a roadmap that aligns the City’s priorities with the services it delivers to residents, the budget is a financial plan that outlines the amount of money the City will raise and spend for the coming year. Today’s approval represents a 7.17 per cent increase to the City’s budget. Only 36 per cent of property taxes are used to support the over 140 services delivered by city staff. The remainder is used to support services provided by the Region of Waterloo, such as waste management and public health (52 per cent), as well as an education portion for local school boards (12 per cent).

“Striking the right balance between providing service to the community and setting Cambridge up for future growth is not an easy task,” said Cambridge Mayor, Jan Liggett. “This is a fiscally responsible budget with a property tax bill increase of 2.58 per cent, which is below the rate of inflation of 3.4 per cent. This means an average of $9.30 per month to a tax bill. Other than in 2021 during Covid, Cambridge City Council has consistently delivered a property tax bill increase under the rate of inflation over the last decade. I want to thank our staff that have worked tirelessly during this process for presenting a budget below Council direction - this achievement is deserving of accolades. Council balanced residents’ financial concerns and needs for today while looking proactively to the future.”

Similar to households, cities across the country are experiencing the same economic pressures due to inflation and the cost of living, also known as the Consumer Price Index (CPI). For instance, while the current rate of inflation is 3.4 per cent, the cost of things like gas and construction supplies, which make up a large portion of the City’s budget, remain higher. It’s important to note that, the City’s budget, while impacted by CPI, also has expenditures that are impacted by the Building Construction Price Index (BCPI), to construct capital assets such as roads, water and sewer mains, facilities, parks and trails. The City must manage exceedingly higher than inflation construction costs, further driven by extended pandemic recoveries and ongoing supply chain issues.

The key drivers for the 2024 Budget include $165.0 million toward the cost of delivering over 140 programs and services, excluding water and sewer services. Municipalities across the country are facing financial challenges to maintain existing infrastructure which are either past their service life or later stage of the service life. To support continued growth, the City is investing $169.7 million in the rehabilitation and replacement of the City’s existing infrastructure, valued at $3.8 billion. As well, many of the initiatives contained in the 2024 Budget are also the continuation of important multi-year projects such as the Recreation Complex, Preston Auditorium, and the Fountain Street Soccer Complex.

Other initiatives in the 2024 Budget include:

  • The expansion of the Cambridge Sports Park arena complex with the opening of two new ice pads.
  • Mobile security team offering 24/7 proactive patrol of parks and Business Improvement Areas (BIAs), along with alarm response to help combat prohibited activity, effectively addressing citizen complaints about unwanted activities in these areas.
  • Continued investment in the growth and development of the City’s downtown areas.
  • Maintenance of additional parks and expanded recreation programming for children and youth.
  • Fire training programs to ensure the City’s first responders are expert in their knowledge and ability to respond in life-saving events.
  • Cemetery care and maintenance which is now expanded to the Blair Cemetery which serves as the resting place of Cambridge’s first mayor, Claudette Millar, and other notable Cambridge residents.
  • The implementation of a 40km/h neighborhood speed limit which will occur over the next two years with new signage and an education campaign to educate the community.
  • A framework for a Road Safety Strategy to evaluate current service levels and identify opportunities for improvement, which is expected to be implemented in 2025.
  • Dedicated infrastructure levy, calculated as 1% of the previous year’s tax levy, which will be contributed to the Infrastructure Renewal Fund Reserve for the future rehabilitation costs of the City’s aging infrastructure. 

“I would like to thank Council for their leadership and approval of the 2024 Budget and Business Plan,” said City Manager David Calder. “I am proud of how hard our staff have worked to bring in a residential tax increase under the rate of inflation to minimize the impact on households. We are taxpayers too, so we take this job very seriously. Thanks to the efforts of our staff, this budget allows us to continue to deliver high quality services while making infrastructure investments that support the growing needs of our community.”

The 2024 Budget and Business Plans are guided by the City’s Strategic Plan – Cambridge Connected. This year, Council endorsed the strategic priorities for 2024 – 2026, which will guide our financial direction over the next three years. “Through a collaborative process with Council, staff and our residents, today’s approval will help set the stage for the City to meet the needs of our residents in a way that balances affordability with supporting continued growth,” said Chief Financial Officer Sheryl Ayres. “I would like to take this opportunity to thank our residents who participated in this process and our staff who helped prepare this year’s budget.”


Additional Resources

To learn more about the City’s 2024 Budget, including Frequently Asked Questions, please visit


Budget meetings are available to view via City’s YouTube channel. The final 2024 Budget book will be posted online in the coming days.