Budget Branding

The budget is the City's plan for the coming period, expressed in dollars. The budget prepared by staff is the culmination of ongoing engagement on public priorities throughout the year starting with the strategic plan followed by master plans, public meetings, online engagement, and informal feedback. The budget is prepared taking into consideration both this community input and direction from City Council. The Budget and Audit Committee Chair is Councillor Mike Mann and the Vice-Chair is Councillor Donna Reid.

2020 Budget

The 2020 Budget and Business Plan, Investing in Our City, Invested in Our Citizens, includes the City's operating, water utility and capital budgets. The budget is presented in alignment with our strategic plan to clearly demonstrate how we're meeting our goals as a city. We are committed to the responsible allocation of tax dollars to ensure that our community is receiving the best possible services and that our city is moving forward in a progressive and innovative manner.

Budget documents

The 2020 Water Utility Budget and Capital Budget were approved by the Budget and Audit Committee in December 2019 and the 2020 Operating Budget was approved by Council in February 2020, concluding the 2020 Budget process.

The Capital Budget represents a $50.9 million investment for new infrastructure and to support growth of the city as well as the rehabilitation and replacement of existing infrastructure, while the Operating budget dedicates $124.2 million towards the daily costs of running city services, excluding water and sewer services.

Please see investment highlights.

2020 Budget and Business plan: Key Investments

  • Dedicating $51.6 million of capital investment in our city’s core infrastructure – including our roads, our recreation facilities, and our parks.
  • Investing $200,000 in a new traffic calming program to ensure public safety.
  • Upgrading over 3 km of city roads to be reconstructed to improve aging infrastructure
  • Allocating $20 million under the Business Plan for the Core Areas Transformation Fund to help drive change in Hespeler, Galt, and Preston
  • Moving forward on design/engineering for important projects like the Fountain Street Soccer Park, the new Cambridge Recreation Complex, and the Preston Auditorium expansion.
  • Investing $204,000 for new and redeveloped multi-use trails throughout our city
  • Investing in our cemeteries, including building a new columbarium in Parklawn Cemetery
  • Replacing the pedestrian bridge and trail connection behind Galt Collegiate Institute.
  • Investing $265,000 for improvements to both Hespeler and Galt Arena
  • Developing and building a brand new city park – Highland Ridge Park
  • Investing $170,000 for new play structures in two city parks - Gail St. Park and Northview Heights Lookout Park

Household Impacts

The approved overall 2020 Budget increased by 3.73 per cent. Please note that the City’s portion of your overall tax bill is 36 per cent, with the Region of Waterloo and local school board portions making up the remainder (64 per cent). Once the regional and education portions of the tax bill are included, the City’s tax levy increase will raise the overall property taxes paid by 1.34 per cent for the average household.

  • Property tax increase: $51/year
  • Water utilities increase: $39/year 
  • Total impact: $90/year

How does a City develop its budget?

Each year, city council approves an annual budget, made up of three parts:

  • Operating Budget - Annual operations of city facilities and services, primarily funded through property taxes and user fees, excluding water and sewer.

  • Water and Sewer Budget - Annual operations of water and sewer distribution, funded through user rates.

  • Capital Budget - Capital program for all city projects, funded through taxes, water and sewer fees, development charges, debt, grants, or other reserve funds.

Past budgets

View the following documents related to the past budgets:

 2019 budget documents

2019 Approved Budget

The approved 2019 budget includes the City's operating, water utility and capital budgets. The budget is presented in alignment with our strategic plan to clearly demonstrate how we're meeting our goals as a city. We are committed to the responsible allocation of tax dollars to ensure that our community is receiving the best possible services and that our city is moving forward in a progressive and innovative manner. 

The 2019 approved rate changes and impact to the homeowner are calculated on an average house cost of $310,200.

The approved 2019 rate changes are:

  • Property tax increase is 2.38 per cent or $31.70 annually.
  • Water utility increase is 4.31 per cent or $48 annually.

The total impact annually on the average household is $79.70.

The approved 2019 budget summary and details are available below.

Read the 2019 Budget in Brief

View the Budget Info Series presentation 

Review the 2019 Budget Summary and Details

 

 2018 budget documents

2018 Multi-year Budget

View the 2018 Multi-Year Budget.

View the 2018 Draft Budget Summary Report for an overview of the 2018 multi-year budget. The Summary Report also includes potential impacts for the 2019 and 2020 budget forecasts.

2018 Operating Budget

View the following documents to learn more about the 2018 Operating Budget:

2018 Water and Sewer Budget

View Appendix D: 2018-2020 Water and Sewer Operating Budget and Forecast Details for more information.

2018 Capital Budget

View Appendix F: 2018-2027 Capital Project Details to learn more.

2018 Municipal Fees and Charges

The City's Fees and Charges outline the user fees for various city services. Council reviews and approves the Municipal Fees and Charges as part of the annual budget process.

View Appendix E: 2018 - 2020 Fees and Charges for a list of all fees for 2018, along with their 2019 and 2020 forecasts.

 2017 budget documents
 2016 budget documents
 2015 budget documents


If you require an accessible version of the budget documents, please contact Accessibility Planning and Inclusion Services.