About the 2017 Budget

From plowing the snow in the winter to opening the public pools in the summer, to transit and infrastructure, fire and paramedic services you rely on every day your taxes go to running the city and funding a total of 89 services. 

And every day, as a City of Hamilton tax payer, you place your trust in our employees to provide you with high quality, efficient services and programs that matter most to you. We do this by managing the budget today and planning for tomorrow.

A municipal budget is a policy and planning document that outlines our city’s priorities. Balancing those priorities is a challenging undertaking. That’s because we need to identify what we need to do now to keep providing this high level of service to our citizens and plan on what we need to do in the future. It’s also about what we can afford to do.

2017 Capital Budget Highlights

  • $71.9 million towards Roads, Bridges, Traffic and Sidewalks
  • $11.1 million towards Roads Growth
  • $17.7 million towards Transit 
  • $10.5 million towards Open Space Development/Parks
  • $7.3 million towards Fire and Paramedic Services
  • $14.5 million towards Recreation
  • $27.2 million towards West Harbour Development
  • $2.2 million towards Downtowns and Commercial Districts
  • $1.0 million towards housing supports, including CityHousing Hamilton and Housing Services funding
  • $1.7 million towards Long-Term Care Facilities

2017 tax dollars at work

  • The 2017 budget has a property tax increase of 2.1%.  
  • For an average house costing $315,000, this means an increase of $81 for 2017.


Budget investments

The budget includes investments in the term of Council’s top three priorities of Economic Prosperity and Growth, Built Environment and Infrastructure and Our People and Performance.  The 2017 tax operating budget is focused on investing in the Hamilton community while improving on our long-term financial sustainability. The budget is also focused on growing the non-residential tax base.  There are clear themes that have emerged from this year's budget. 


Financial sustainability

  • Together with its focus on making strategic investment, this Council has also held top of mind the importance of long term financial sustainability.
  • There continues to be increased funding to reserve accounts to help maintain our strong credit rating and improve financial sustainability.


Social and Health investments

  • $1.7 million towards Long-Term Care Facilities
  • $14.5 million towards Recreation Facilities
  • $1.0 million towards housing supports, including CityHousing Hamilton and Housing Services
  • $7.3 million includes cost of all Fire/Paramedic equipment and vehicle replacements
  • Community Enrichment Fund investment of $300K
  • $69K towards Naloxone program expansion for Public Health Services

Social and Health Budget Infographic 2017


Transit and Transportation

  • Investments in the maintenance and improvements of roads.
    • $71.9 million towards Roads, Bridges, Traffic and Sidewalks
    • $11.1 million towards Roads Growth
    • Highlights include:
      • $3.2 million Upper Sherman at Rymal to Stone Church
      • $4.9 million Red Hill Parkway bypass, Dartnall at Stone Church to Rymal 
  • Improved HSR service levels
    • $17.7 million towards Transit 
    • Highlights include:
      • $2.5 million towards Limeridge Mall Terminal Redevelopment
      • $11.4 million towards HSR Bus Replacement Program 

Continued focus on a variety of transportation options and ways to move about the city safely.


Business growth & development

  • Maintaining a continued focus on Open for Business.
  • Small Business Enterprise Centre helped more entrepreneurs than ever before in 2016; 317 new jobs were created through this program.
  • $27.2 million towards West Harbour
  • $10.5 million towards Open Space Development/Parks
  • $2.2 million towards Downtowns and Commercial Districts
  • Action taken by Council to date has once again seen the City surpass $1B worth of building permits in 2016. 
    • This marks the fifth year in a row where building permits have reached $1B.

Business Infographic Tax 2017

There are various components to the budget.

Operating Budget

The Operating Budget funds ongoing financial obligations and costs to provide programs and services to Hamilton citizens.

Some municipal services for your tax dollar

  • Police Services
  • Recreation
  • Transit
  • Fire Services
  • Parks, Forestry, Cemeteries
  • Waste Management Services
  • Public Health
  • Paramedic Services
  • Administrative Services

Operating expenses needed to deliver services and programs to citizens

  • Employee salary/wages/benefits and pension
  • Material and supplies
  • Services from other agencies
  • Contractual costs – rent and various office or operating equipment
  • Facilities costs, including utilities, repairs and maintenance
  • Financial transactions, such as interest

Revenue sources which help to fund and deliver services and programs to citizens

  • User fees
  • Grants
  • Subsidies
  • Licence and permit fees
  • Property tax revenue

Capital Budget

The Capital Budget provides for investments in infrastructure and capital assets such as constructing, buying or maintaining assets including roads, sidewalks, bridges, buildings, vehicles, equipment and land.


Rate Budget

The Rate Budget funds costs for water, wastewater and storm programs that support Hamilton's ability to provide clean, safe drinking water to its residents, as well as protect the natural environment through wastewater treatment and storm water management.  

Water, wastewater and storm water charges are based on residents’ water usage or volume. For information on water and wastewater/storm billing, visit Horizon Utilities.

The schedule for meetings of the General Issues Committee, with respect to the 2017 Budget process, is as follows:

2017 Tax User Fees (Regular GIC)
Wednesday, November 16, 2016 , 9:30 am 

Rate Budget
Friday, November 18, 2016, 9:30 am
Friday, December 2, 2016, 9:30 am (if required)

Tax Capital Budget                                   
Friday, November 25, 2016, 9:30 am
Friday, December 9, 2016, 9:30 am (if required)

Tax Operating Budget Overview
Friday, January 20, 2017, 9:30 am

Boards & Agencies
Tuesday, January 24, 2017, 9:30 am
Thursday, January 26, 2017, 9:30 am

Transit
Friday, January 27, 2017, 9:30 am

Departmental Budget Presentation
Friday, February 3, 2017, 9:30 am

Departmental Budget Presentation
Tuesday, February 7, 2017, 9:30 am

Departmental Budget Presentation
Friday, February 10, 2017, 9:30 am

Departmental Budget Presentation
Friday, February 17, 2017, 9:30 am

Departmental Budget Presentation
Tuesday, February 21, 2017, 9:30 am

Public Delegations**
Thursday, February 23, 2017, 3 pm

Budget Deliberations
Friday, February 24, 2017, 9:30 am
Monday, February 27, 2017, 1:30 pm
Thursday, March 2, 2017, 9:30 am
Friday, March 3, 2017, 9:30 am

Target Budget Approval (Council Meeting)
Wednesday, March 8, 2017, 5 pm 

** Members of the public who are interested in appearing before Committee on Thursday, February 23, 2017, are asked to submit a Request to Speak before a Committee of Council online form or, in writing to:

Stephanie Paparella, Legislative Coordinator
Office of the City Clerk
1st Floor, 71 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario L8P 4Y5
stephanie.paparella@hamilton.ca

Learn more about submitting a request to speak to a Committee of Council.

2017 Preliminary Budget Information