Hamilton City Council adopts 2022 tax supported operating budget
HAMILTON, ON - Hamilton City Council has adopted its $1.6 billion gross tax operating budget and a net tax operating budget of $993.5 million. This net budget represents a 2.8% or $120 average residential tax increase on an average assessed value of $382,000. This budget is 0.5% lower, $3.6 million, than the preliminary budget presented to Council in January. Council was able to support a series of enhancements to critical services and supports like paramedic services and transportation, while holding the tax increase below inflation by achieving net reductions through budget deliberations.
A total of 55% of the property tax collected goes towards municipal services. The remaining 45% going to boards and agencies and provincially funded programs such as Public Health Services, long term care, paramedics, housing, Ontario Works and Children’s Services.
The 2022 operating budget also supports the priorities identified by Council for their current term of office. Council’s priorities include Climate Change, Multi-Modal Transportation, Homelessness and Affordable Housing, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Integrated Growth and Development, Trust and Confidence in City Government, Fiscal Health and Financial Management, and supporting a Healthy and Respectful Workplace.
Priority initiatives in the 2022 budget include:
- Implementation of year six of the 10-Year Local Transit Strategy representing 49,000 additional service hours;
- A strategic focus on affordable housing and homelessness initiatives including additional contributions to the Rent Ready Program, loan repayments for the Canadian Mortgage Housing Corporation National Housing Strategy Co-Investment Fund, continuation of the Roxborough Housing Incentive Program (RHIPP) and ensuring continuity of service by providing the required increases in benchmark funding and replacing decreased revenues from Federal subsidy;
- Macassa Lodge redevelopment and expansion plan;
- Additional investments towards maintaining the City’s tax supported infrastructure;
- Additional investments in Police Services to ensure the ratio of 146 officers per 100,000 population is maintained as the city grows; and,
- Continuation of COVID-19 response and vaccination efforts and economic recovery plan.
The adoption of the 2022 operating budget comes following the adoption of the 2022 tax supported capital budget in December 2021 and rate supported budget in November 2021.
The 2022 tax supported capital budget included more than $386 million in spending, and highlighted the following strategic objectives:
- Maintaining existing assets in a state-of-good-repair and a commitment to asset management best practices;
- Resiliency and economic recovery in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic;
- Leveraging funding programs from senior levels of government for transit, culture and recreation, affordable housing, disaster mitigation and adaptation, long-term care and climate change initiatives;
- Continuing year six of the 10-Year Local Transit Strategy, as well as other commitments to support multi-modal transportation options across the municipality;
- Providing additional local funding for social housing repairs and renovations; and,
- Supporting integrated growth and development to ensure long-term sustainability and opportunities for residential and business development in the city.
- The rate supported budgets resulted in a combined rate increase of 4.98%. The average resident’s bill in 2022 will be $824 for a household consuming 200 cubic metres of water annually, representing an increase of $39.05 annually.
This 2022 Water, Wastewater, Storm Water Rate Budget will improve our ability to protect the environment and deliver on our commitments respecting the clean-up of Hamilton Harbour. Those investments include projects to:
- Improve water quality in Chedoke Creek and Cootes Paradise;
- Reduce combined sewer overflows and wastewater treatment plant bypasses;
- Improve the quality of effluent discharged from the Woodward and Dundas Wastewater Treatment Plants;
- Help the City prepare for impacts from climate change and implement projects to reduce flooding risks; and,
- Ensure the City’s ability to provide clean, safe drinking water to the community.
As we emerge from a global pandemic and look towards a cautious yet ambitious recovery, the City of Hamilton continues to deliver services that residents depend on while maintaining our COVID-19 response and vaccination efforts. Our 2022 operating budget advances Council priorities, including investments to support building more affordable housing, building a robust transit system including the BLAST network and the LRT, action on climate change and continued investments in state-of-good-repair infrastructure. Thank you to everyone who shared their views during this budget process – these efforts resulted in a prudent and affordable budget that positions the City for our needs now and in the future.Mayor Fred Eisenberger