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Annual Budget Update


Council Approves 2019 Annual Budget Update

On Tuesday, February 12, 2019, Council approved the 2019 Annual Budget Update, which included an approved tax levy increase of 2.7% for 2019, reducing the average annual increase over the 2016-2019 Multi-Year Budget period from 2.8% to 2.7%. 

With this approval, Council also met their objective to reduce the previously approved 3.2% increase for 2019 projected in the 2018 Annual Budget Update. This reduction equates to an average annual increase of $74 for the average ratepayer owning a home with an assessed value of $221,000 in 2015. This represents a reduction of $3 from the $77 average annual increase approved through the 2018 Annual Budget Update.

The 2019 Annual Budget Update is the last annual update to the 2016-2019 Multi-year Budget for the Property Tax Supported Budget and the Water and Wastewater & Treatment Rate Supported Budgets.

The 2019 Annual Budget Update included 13 budget amendment cases: eight operating budget amendments and five capital budget amendments.

Operating Budget Amendments

Three of the operating budget amendments resulted in budget decreases, four represented budget increases, and one did not have an impact on the tax levy.

  • Increases to the revenue budget, primarily as a result of recent favourable trends, in the following areas: tipping fees; licensing/ceremony fees; taxation services fees; parking and court fees; new business licensing categories and development services application fees. These adjustments reduce the tax levy increase to 2.9% as directed by Council.
  • Cancelling the previously planned 2019 minimum wage increase from $14 per hour to $15 per hour after Bill 47 (Making Ontario Open for Business Act, 2018) was passed by the Province.
  • A confidential matter related to labour relations and employee negotiations that reduced the budget by $2.0 million.
  • A funding increase for bicycle lane maintenance in both summer and winter to comply with a new Provincial regulation.
  • Funding for additional Land Ambulance resources to address increased call volumes and risk mitigation requirements for the Middlesex-London Paramedic Service.
  • Funding to hire a full-time psychologist and administrative support staff for the London Police Service’s Safeguard Program.
  • Funding for subsidized transit for seniors that will provide a 25% discount on the cost of bus tickets.
  • Funding for a one-time $2 million investment in the London Children’s Museum as part of a broader $13.9 million project to support the establishment of a new Children’s Museum at 100 Kellogg Lane. This amendment has no impact on the tax levy.

Capital Budget Amendments

All capital budget amendments were accommodated within the capital plan resulting in no impact to the tax levy.

  • Advance the timing of the London Convention Centre roof replacement project to align with other capital project schedules.
  • Funding to paint the Covent Garden Market Parking Garage, to extend the useful life of its concrete.
  • Establish a capital project for the first study which will provide the foundation for future redevelopment of the Masonville Transit Village.
  • Project estimate updates for various transportation growth projects based on 2018 environmental assessments (Wharncliffe Road widening, Richmond/Fanshawe intersection, Hamilton/Highbury intersection).
  • Realignment of various transportation growth projects; no additional funding requirement to the 10 year capital plan.

Additionally, Council approved a one-time $50,000 contribution to the newly established Hamilton Road Business Improvement Association funded from the Community Investment Reserve Fund.

Ten capital budget amendments were approved for the Water and Wastewater & Treatment Budgets, but they had no impact on the previously approved rate increase.  The approved Water and Wastewater & Treatment Budgets maintain the average annual rate increase of 3%, resulting in an average annual increase of $11 (Water) and $14 (Wastewater & Treatment) for the average user consuming 165.4 m3 per year. The 3% increase has been maintained through the entire 2016-2019 Multi-Year Budget period.

For more information on the 2019 Annual Budget Update and the 2016-2019 Multi-Year Budget visit www.london.ca/budget.

 

2019 Annual Budget Update Documents

 

Annual Budget Updates

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  • 2017

    2017 Budget Approved

    2017 Water and Wastewater & Treatment Budget Approved

    On December 6, 2016, City Council approved the 2017 Annual Budget Update, noting the average annual property tax levy will remain at 2.8% as approved for the 2016-2019 multi-year budget period.  A 2.8% increase equates to an average annual tax increase of $76 (based on the average rate payer owning a home with an assessed value of $221,000 in 2015).

    Council approved the following budget amendments without impact to the approved 2.8% average annual tax levy:

    • Funding for increased energy costs from new Cap & Trade regulation
    • Funding for carrying/holding costs on City owned properties
    • Savings from debt servicing costs primarily a result of lower than anticipated interest rates 
    • Increased funding provided to the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority to support the implementation of its recently approved strategic plan
    • Increased funding provided to the London & Middlesex Housing Corporation to address a continued need for building repairs and maintenance at London & Middlesex Housing Corporation properties
    • Funding to support the implementation of London’s Community Economic Road Map
    • Children ages 12 and younger can ride London Transit for free
    • Amendments to the capital budget including project deferrals, advancements and increases within available funding

    A request from the Housing Development Corporation for an additional investment in affordable housing development was deferred for consideration during discussion of the 2016 year end surplus.

    Council also approved three amendments to the Water and Wastewater & Treatment budgets. The 2017 Annual Budget Update for Water and Wastewater & Treatment maintains the average annual impact on rates at 3% as identified in the 2016-2019 multi-year budget period. The 3% increase effective January 1, 2017 translates into an approximate $11 increase per year for Water and $14 increase per year for Wastewater & Treatment for the average residential ratepayer consuming 165.4 m3 of water per year. Water and wastewater services are rate based and charged separately from property taxes.

    2017 Annual Budget Update Documents

  • 2018

    2018 Budget Approved

    2018 Water and Wastewater & Treatment Budget Approved

    City Council approved the 2018 Annual Budget Update for the Property Tax Supported Budget and the Water and Wastewater & Treatment Rate Supported Budgets on December 12.

    The average annual property tax levy increase from rates will remain at 2.8%, the same average increase as originally approved for the 2016-2019 multi-year budget period. This 2.8% increase equates to an average annual tax increase of $77 (based on the average rate payer owning a home with an assessed value of $221,000 in 2015). In order to maintain the 2.8% tax levy increase, Council approved two items to reduce the tax levy increase: savings from the phase out of the vacancy tax rebate program, and 2018 assessment growth revenue in excess of costs to service growth. Council’s decisions reduced the tax levy increase from 3.3% for each of 2018 and 2019 when the budget was first presented, to 2.8% and 3.2% respectively. Council also passed a motion requesting that Civic Administration look for savings in 2019 that would further reduce the tax levy increase in that year.

    The 2018 Tax Supported Budget includes a gross operating budget of $920 million and a capital budget of $159 million.

    Council approved the following 19 budget amendments while maintaining the approved 2.8% average annual tax levy, noting that two amendments were revised based on reduced funding requests from Upper Thames River Conservation Authority.  

    Operating Budget Amendments

    • Funding to continue the London Music Development Office on a temporary basis
    • Funding to accommodate an increase to Councillors’ annual compensation, effective with the commencement of the next term of Council
    • An operating budget increase provided to the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority to support the implementation of its recently approved strategic plan
    • An operating budget increase to support maintenance, security and activation of Dundas Place
    • The elimination of the annual payment (City of London subsidy) to the Stiller Centre
    • Increase revenue from an Ontario Works administration subsidy due to a higher average portion of the provincial case load
    • Funding to support the provincially legislated increase to minimum wage
    • A confidential matter that will not be made public and was only heard by Council

    Capital Budget Amendments

    All capital budget amendments were accommodated within the capital plan resulting in no impact to the tax levy.

    • Invasive Species Management Strategy
    • London Police Service - capital plan changes
    • Exterior lighting redesign and replacement for all London & Middlesex Housing Corporation sites
    • Realignment of Parks projects associated with Growth
    • Deferral of new Fire Station 15 (southeast)
    • Adelaide Street - CPR grade separation
    • Western Road widening - Platts Lane to Oxford Street
    • Realignment of Transportation projects related to Growth
    • Dundas Place field house
    • Farquharson, Glen Cairn & Silverwoods arenas decommissioning
    • Relocation of existing resources to new Fire Station 16 (Wharncliffe Rd)
    • Western Rd. & Philip Aziz Ave. improvements deferred

    Additionally, Council approved a pilot project for a reduced rate transit pass ($52 monthly) for youth between 13 and 17 years old, starting in September 2018. 

    The Water Rate Supported and Wastewater & Treatment Rate Supported Budgets were also approved, maintaining the average annual rate increase of 3% for the 2016-2019 multi-year budget period.  The 3% increase translates into an $11 increase per year for Water and $14 increase per year for Wastewater & Treatment for the average rate payer.

    2018 Annual Budget Update Documents

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