City Budgets

2019 Tax and Rate Budgets

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 towards running City 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.

2019 Budget Summary

Budget 101

2019 Tax Distribution Chart

Our Budget

This year’s Net Tax Supported Operating Budget of $887 million requires  a 2.5% municipal property tax increase, which translates to $88 for the average residential property assessed at $358,600. Hamilton’s tax competitiveness has improved since 2011; residential property taxes are currently 6 per cent above the average of our municipal comparators, versus 11 per cent in 2011.

As part of this year’s 2019 Tax Supported Operating Budget, City departments have developed four-year (2019-2022) business plans that outline key priorities and milestones that support the City’s Strategic Plan and contribute to the City’s vision to be the best place to raise a child and age successfully.

Learn more about our 2019 – 2022 Multi-Year Business Plans (PDF, 5.3 MB)

In addition to property taxes, the City also receives revenues annually from user fees for recreation and transit, government grants and subsidies, license and permit fees, including revenue from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG), which provided $5.3 million in revenue in 2018, helping to offset annual costs of delivering programs and services.

2019 Tax Supported Capital Budget Highlights

$227.1 million in gross capital spending includes:

  • $75.8 million towards Roads, bridges, traffic, sidewalks
  • $24.3 million towards Transit initiatives
  • $20.9 million towards Roads growth
  • $15.9 million towards Corporate and Recreation facilities
  • $10.7 million towards Fire and Paramedic Services
  • $10.0 million towards Central Fleet Vehicle replacement
  • $8.3 million towards Open Space Development
  • $8.2 million towards West Harbour Strategic initiatives
  • $7.5 million towards Affordable Housing Initiatives
  • $4.5 million towards Forestry and Horticulture
  • $3.7 million towards Waste Management initiatives
  • $2.8 million towards Entertainment facility rehabilitation
  • $2.6 million towards Parks and Cemeteries
  • $2.4 million towards Information Technology

2019 Budget Infographic

Community Engagement & Participation

  • $6.12 million for 2019 to be allocated for community programming through the City Enrichment Fund
  • Continue to implement the Customer Service Strategy
  • Enable Open Data capabilities and processes to support the Citizen Dashboard
  • Continued focus on Open Data and our Smart City Strategy

Economic Prosperity & Growth

  • Action taken by Council to date has once again seen the City surpass $1billion worth of building permit construction value in 2018
    • This marks the seventh year in a row where building permit construction value has exceeded $1Billion
  • $8.2 million towards West Harbour Strategic initiatives
  • $8.3 million towards Open Space Development
  • Transit & Transportation
    • $24.3 million towards Transit initiatives including upgrades and repairs to 350 transit shelters and 18 replacement HSR buses
    • $1.8 million to support 10-year transit strategy plan to provide 39,000 additional service hours and 30 full time equivalents
    • $4.3 million towards DARTS with planned additional trips of 67,000 to support increased ridership intake and AODA requirements

Healthy & Safe Communities

  • $99.5 million towards affordable housing and homelessness programs including emergency shelters, supportive housing, new affordable housing construction, repairs to social housing and eviction prevention programs.
  • $10.74 million towards Fire and Paramedic equipment and vehicle replacements
  • $1.6 million (gross) for an additional ambulance and 10 new paramedics
  • $1.4 million in renovations to the City’s two long term care facilities
  • Funding for Childcare expansion in Riverdale Neighbourhood and for Indigenous families
  • Funding for reduced childcare fees across the city
  • Launch of the City’s first Urban Indigenous Strategy
  • Development of a city-wide Drug & Opioid Strategy focusing on the pillars of prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and enforcement

Clean & Green

  • $3.7 million towards Waste Management initiatives
  • $4.5 million towards Forestry and Horticulture
  • $600,000 in energy savings thanks to converting 10,000 high pressure sodium street lights to energy efficient LED lights

Built Environment & Infrastructure

  • $75.8 million towards Roads, bridges, traffic, sidewalks rehabilitation
  • $20.9 million towards Roads growth
  • $2.8 million towards Entertainment facility rehabilitation

Culture & Diversity

  • Delivery of Transgender Protocol training to employees
  • $15.3 million towards corporate and recreation facilities rehabilitation
  • $600,000 to support the staffing for the new $25 million Bernie Morelli Recreation Centre
  • A continued focus on ensuring growth in the culture and creative sectors, including museum visits and film permits

Our People & Performance

  • Development and implementation of an IT Strategy
  • Continuous improvement with the City’s Performance Excellence Dashboard with emphasis on the use of Results Based Accountability framework for performance measurement
  • Enhancement of Multi-Year Business Planning and Budget Processes

The schedule for meetings of the General Issues Committee, with respect to the 2019 Budget process, is as follows:

Rate Budget
Thursday, December 6, 2018, 9:30 am
Thursday, December 13, 2018, 9:30 am (if required)

Tax Capital Budget
Friday, December 7, 2018, 9:30 am
Friday, December 14, 2018, 9:30 am (if required)

2019 Tax User Fees (Regular GIC)
Wednesday, December 12, 2018, 9:30 am 

Tax Operating Budget Overview
Friday, December 7, 2018, 9:30 am

Departmental Budget Presentation – Healthy and Safe Communities
Friday, January 18, 2019, 9:30 am

Boards & Agencies
Tuesday, January 22, 2019, 9:30 am
Thursday, January 24, 2019, 9:30 am

Friday, January 25, 2019, 9:30 am

Departmental Budget Presentation - Public Works 
Tuesday, January 29, 2019, 9:30 am

Departmental  Budget Presentation - Planning & Economic Development & City Manager’s Office
Wednesday, January 30, 2019, 9:30 am

Departmental Budget Presentation -  Corporate Services & Non-Program
Thursday, January 31, 2019, 9:30 am

Departmental Budget Presentation - Business Cases & Council Referred
Friday, February 8, 2019, 9:30 am

Public Delegations
Monday, February 11, 2019, 3 pm 

Budget Deliberations
Friday, February 15, 2019, 9:30 am
Monday, February 25, 2019, 9:30 am
Thursday, February 28, 2019, 9:30 am (if required)
Tuesday, March 1, 2019, 9:30 am (if required)

Targeted Budget Approval (Council Meeting) 
Wednesday, March 27, 2019, 5 pm 

2019 Final Budget Information

2019 Preliminary Budget Information

2019 Operating Budget Presentations