2019 Budget

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2019 Budget Image

On March 26, 2019, Burlington City Council approved the city’s 2019 operating budget with a 2.99 per cent increase in the city’s portion of property taxes.

Combined with tax increases from Halton Region and the boards of education, the overall tax increase is 1.94 per cent or $15.08 per $100,000 of a home’s current value assessment.

View infographic of new investments made in city services in 2019
View infographic of 2019 operating budget

Planning to help gather public input on the 2020 budget is underway. Please visit this page for more details soon.

On March 26, 2019, Burlington City Council approved the city’s 2019 operating budget with a 2.99 per cent increase in the city’s portion of property taxes.

Combined with tax increases from Halton Region and the boards of education, the overall tax increase is 1.94 per cent or $15.08 per $100,000 of a home’s current value assessment.

View infographic of new investments made in city services in 2019
View infographic of 2019 operating budget

Planning to help gather public input on the 2020 budget is underway. Please visit this page for more details soon.

Do you have a question about the proposed operating or capital budget?  Ask and we'll answer. 

Q&A

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    How has the Operating budget reflected the impact of lower gasoline prices this year? Can we revisit the gas price assumptions that are embedded in the departmental budgets, especially for services that use a lot of fuel like transit and maintenance operations? We may be able to cut some unnecessary 'fat' out of the budget by having our budgets reflect the current reality that fuel prices are 10-15% lower than last year.

    cariens asked over 1 year ago

    Thank you for your question.

    The 2019 budget for gasoline and diesel has been set slightly lower than the 2018 actual expenditures.  Of those expenses, diesel fuel makes up over 85% of the total usage with Transit and Maintenance operations being the largest consumers.  While gas prices have dropped an average of 15% over the last 12 months, diesel prices have decreased only 5%.  There are multiple factors affecting crude oil costs that then determine fuel pricing in a very volatile energy market.  To receive lower pricing, the city participates in a consortium within Halton Region to ensure city pricing benefits from combined volume needs.  This economy of scale advantage provides competitive costing for the city. Thanks again for your question.







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    Why does the Burlington Performing Arts Center get 1,000,000 dollars - the use rate by people that actually live here - the proof that is worth the subsidy is just not there

    Pinedale Community asked over 1 year ago

    Thank you for your question.  The total budget for the Performing Arts Centre is $3.8M.  Of this, approximately one-third of the funding comes from the City ($1.01M) with the balance of $2.77M from other revenue sources such as ticket sales, memberships, sponsorships, rental revenue and grants.






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    I read in the Burlington Gazette http://www.burlingtongazette.ca/how-to-reduce-the-tax-bill-stop-collecting-leaves-and-eliminate-a-right-hand-turn-lane-dont-give-the-fire-department-a-drone/ that council is considering to stop collecting the leaves in the Fall. Is this a possibility? I beg you to reconsider this potential decision. I spend 3 consecutive weekends hauling leaves to the curbside. If I had to bag all these leaves I think I would rather cut the trees down. I do consider the other options discussed here viable. I can't understand why you would need to eliminate the right turn lane at Brant and Elgin and I don't see the need for a drone. Thanks for listening

    StephenWarner asked over 1 year ago

    Thank you for your question.

    The 2019 Proposed budget which recommends a 3.99% tax increase maintains the loose leaf collection program.  In December, Council requested staff to prepare options for how the city’s proposed budget could be reduced to 3.25%, 3% and 2%.  One of the service reductions outlined in these options included the elimination of the leaf program.  Other options included reductions in funding to the capital program for infrastructure.  These options were provided to Council for information only. Council may choose any, all or none of these options when they deliberate and vote on the budget.

    If you want your voice heard about leaf pick up,  you may wish to do any of the following:

    Contact your Ward Councilor

    Register to speak to council at the Feb 7 Committee of the Whole Budget meeting

    Thanks for your question.






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    A $100 yearly increase is a lot of money especially to seniors living on fixed incomes. It's not as it this is a one of...every year we are faced with property tax increases on past tax years increases without regard to the taxpayer's ability to pay. Just once I would like to see a zero increase and YOU find efficiencies instead to maintain city services. Is that too much to ask?

    Cheryl Cowland asked over 1 year ago

    Thank you for your inquiry and expressing your concerns over potential property tax increases. A review of the services the city provides take place every year to ensure saving and efficiency in service delivery. As well, additional scrutiny to achieve budget reductions and efficiencies are inherent in the city’s annual budget review process. A business plan and performance measures for each service are reviewed annually.  The business plans are available on the city’s website. https://www.burlington.ca/en/your-city/city-service-delivery.asp

    Property tax rebate programs are available to assist low-income seniors. The Low-Income Seniors Property Tax Rebate program provides a $525 rebate annually towards property taxes if you are over 65 years of age, are in receipt of the guaranteed income supplement (GIS) and have resided in your home for at least one year. 

    The Older Adult Property Tax Deferral Program allows homeowners that meet an income threshold ($50,900 for 2019) to defer their full annual property taxes, interest free, until their circumstances change. Homeowners can only participate in one of these programs. 

    To learn more about these programs, visit burlington.ca/propertytax and look under Rebates and Deferrals or call the property tax line at 905-335-7750.





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    In 2014 there was a very easy way to look at which city program money was being spent on, you could see the comparisons from the years before. In 2015 this was changed and now you can only see the overall budget of departments. Where you could see the breakdown of departmental budgets before, aquatics, pool operations or arena operations from the Recreation department for example, you can now only view a select few things under the Recreation heading (like Human resources). What prompted this change?

    John Quigley asked over 1 year ago

    Thank you for your question.  In 2015 the city transitioned from a traditional department-based budget to a Service Based budget. 

    This change was prompted to help the city reflect a truer cost of service delivery, particularly in services that are delivered by more than one traditional city department.  For example, portions of the costs related to surface water drainage were previously reflected in both the capital works department and the Roads, Parks and Forestry Department.   As prior year’s budgets were not restated to a service-based approach, the first year (2015) did not reflect a comparison of the budget to prior years. However, since 2016, comparisons to prior year’s service-based budget have been provided.

    The service-based approach presents the budget as 45 distinct services.  Twenty seven of these are delivered directly to the public, 11 are internally focused support services and 7 are managed externally but receive a portion of their funding from the city (such as the Library and Museums).  

    Along with the transition to a service-based budget, the city developed annual Business Plans for all city services and uses a results-based accountability framework to report on performance measures for all services.  These business plans are available on the city’s website https://www.burlington.ca/en/your-city/city-service-delivery.asp