2016 Preliminary Budget Information

Every year, City staff put forward a preliminary budget and then the Mayor and City Council, with input from Hamilton residents, and businesses make choices about City services and programs. It is an ongoing process as each year Budgets are drafted, revised, reported, presented, approved, adopted, and monitored.

Initial budget planning involves evaluation of the services the City provides. What services are currently offered? Are they required? Can these services be amended for greater efficiency? Are there some services required but not offered?

All of these questions must be answered in the context of the City’s mission statement: “We will provide quality public services that contribute to a healthy, safe and prosperous community, in a sustainable manner.”


Budget basics

There are three components to the budget: 

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

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