How to Get Involved in the Budget Process
We want to hear from you!
Public Delegations are scheduled for November 21 2022 and February 6, 2023.
The City undertakes an annual budget process to create budgets that support City operations and deliver the programs and services required to maintain the high quality of life we enjoy in our community.
Throughout the budget process, we ensure that the services we provide to residents align with the priorities identified in the City's Strategic Plan.
Each year, City staff begin budget planning and preparations in the spring.
There are three main components to the City’s annual budget:
- The tax Supported Operating budget is a plan for the day-to-day operations, including employee salaries, materials and supplies, contractual services and financing of capital projects.
The tax supported operating budget is largely funded by property tax dollars, subsidies for provincially funded programs, and user fees, which include charges for recreation programs, transit, permits and licensing.
- The tax Supported Capital budget is the long-term plan for the construction or purchase and financing of the City’s capital assets. Examples of capital assets include infrastructure, land, buildings, machinery and equipment.
Forms of funding include grants, development charges, gas tax, reserves, debt and contributions from the operating budget.
- Rate Supported Operating and Capital Budgets: The rate supported operating budget is the annual plan for the day-to-day operations of the City’s services and financing of capital projects supported from water, wastewater and stormwater user rates.
The rate supported capital budget is a long-term plan for the purchase or construction and financing of water, waste water and stormwater capital assets. Forms of funding include grants, development charges, debt, reserves and contributions from the operating budget.
The tax supported capital budget and rate budgets are presented first, followed by the tax supported operating budget later in the cycle.
Each Department presents their own tax operating budget and business plans.
During this process, Councillors have an opportunity to ask questions and seek clarification from staff. Public delegations appear before Council as well. All Council decisions around budget are informed by budget presentations, staff recommendations, and public delegations and feedback.
Meetings are also held to focus on budgets submitted from related boards, agencies and committees requiring Council approval. This includes Hamilton Police Services, Hamilton Public Library, various conservation authorities and volunteer sub-committees.
Where the money comes from
Where the money goes
Council control over the property tax rate
A total of 55% of the property tax collected goes towards city services such as roads and sidewalks, waste management, parks, transit, fire and recreation. The remaining 45% goes to boards and agencies, education and provincially funded programs such as Public Health Services, long term care, paramedics, housing, Ontario Works and Children’s Services.
City Council has legistalted authority over approximately 55% of the total property tax bill. Provincially funded programs, boards and agencies and education are either governed by authorities other than City Council or are supported through funding agreements that limit City Council’s ability to affect the overall tax rate by changes to these programs.