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Proposed 2020 property tax increase of 3.88 per cent could go higher

City tax supported operating budget released Thursday calls for 3.88 per cent increase, but some other items could still be added prior to council deliberations
20160201 Guelph City Hall Sign KA
GuelphToday file photo

Guelph City Council is likely looking at a property tax increase of around 4.5 per cent before they start trimming or getting creative with how things will be paid for.

The city released its proposed tax supported operating budget Thursday and it calls for a 3.88 per cent increase in the tax levy.

City treasurer Tara Baker said that doesn't include a recommended 0.65 per cent increase related to the operating cost of five new city busses.

It also doesn't include any potential 2020 tax impact associated with a $4.5 million request from Guelph General Hospital to help pay for expansion and upgrades.

The 3.88 per cent does include a proposed 0.83 per cent city building levy.

The city has a number of options on the table in how it would finance that hospital contribution and neither it or the new bus operations have yet been approved by council.

In fact none of the proposed tax increases have been finalized. Those final deliberations and approval are set for Dec. 3.

Water bills will also increase an average of $24 next year.

The biggest single item in the proposed 3.88 per cent increase is a $4.1 million increase in the proposed Guelph Police budget.

The proposed 2020 tax supported operating budget comes in at $256,886,524. That's actually an increase of 5.23 per cent over last year, but the city has seen a 1.35 per cent increase in assessment growth via new building and increased assessment.

The proposed tax supported operationg budget increase includes:

• Base budget increases for the delivery of programs and services (includes items such as contractual obligations): 0.68 per cent.
• Local boards and shared services operating budgets (includes Guelph Police and Guelph library): 2.02 per cent.
• Capital financing (money transferred to capital reserves to fund capital projects), including projects for local boards: 1.74 per cent after increased investment income and dividend revenue.
• City programs (such as Community Improvement Plan grants and software): 0.21 per cent.
• Operating impacts from 2019 approved capital projects: 0.4 per cent.
• Decisions made by council during the year that impact the budget: 0.17 per cent.
• Service enhancements due to legislative changes: 0.01 per cent.

City staff will present the tax supported operating budget to council on Nov. 18.

The local boards and shared services budget will be presented to council on Nov. 20.