Budgets

The current city budget runs from 2020 to the end of 2022. Though it is a 3-year budget, we confirm final numbers in each year of the plan.

The 2022 budget confirmation was approved by council on December 6.


On this page

  1. 2022 budget confirmation
  2. 2022 funding and rate increases
  3. 2020 to 2022 budget
  4. Budget structure and process
  5. Past budgets

2022 budget confirmation

In the second and third year of a 3-year budget cycle, a budget confirmation is presented to council. This gives us a chance to make small adjustments based on new financial information. 

The 2022 budget confirmation was approved by council on December 6, 2021.

The presentation of the budget focused on how we've continued to meet community expectations during the pandemic and what to expect in 2022.

Play in described video for the visually impaired

Highlights

New investments in the 2022 budget will go toward:

  • additional funds for library operations
  • living wage plan for city staff
  • increasing preventative maintenance
  • new furnishings in the Public Square
  • an elevator in the Button Factory
  • investments in trails, sport parks, ball diamonds and new turf

Download our highlights page (PDF) for more details.

PDF Documents

Presentations

Council reports


2022 funding totals and rate increases

  • Operating budget - $87M
  • Capital budget - $172M
  • Property tax increase - 3.1%
  • Utility rate increase (city portion) - 2.1%


2020 to 2022 budget

The 2020 to 2022 budget was approved in February 2020. Read the media release for full details.

Public engagement 
Several public engagements were held in 2018 and 2019 that informed the 2020-2022 draft budget.

View a summary of the survey results (PDF)

Funding and rate increases

Approved funding and rate increases are as follows:

Budgets
  2020 2021 2022
Operating budget $79M $83M $87M
*Capital budget $55M $49M *$172M

*updated December 6, 2021 via report CORP2021-046

Property taxes
  2020 2021 2022
Base budget + operating impacts of capital 1.6% 1.9% 1.8%
Service level + infrastructure investment 1.8% 1.6% 1.3%
Total 3.4% 3.5% 3.1%
Utilities
  2020 2021 2022
*Utility rate increase (city portion) 2.5% 1.3% *2.1%

*updated December 6, 2021 via report IPPW2021-069

2021 budget confirmation

On December 7, 2020, council unanimously agreed to freeze a number of rates and fees across the city to assist the community as people deal with the economic impact of the global pandemic. 

Rates for water, sanitary, cemetery services, building standards, rental housing, business licenses, parking and numerous community facing tax-based fees will all be frozen at 2020 rates.

Council confirmed a property tax increase for 2021 of 1.9 per cent for base budget and operating impacts of capital and a 1.6 per cent increase for service level changes and infrastructure. 

The property tax increase and service fee freezes, means the annual average household impact is reduced by 34 per cent from the original 2021 budget forecast, to $60 for the average homeowner. At the same time, the city continues to make significant progress on its infrastructure deficit, and provide ongoing operating funding for the east side library, and create permanent funding for affordable housing.

Council also directed staff to monitor tax payment arrears and report back to council with recommendations for targeted relief, if required.

Documents

High-level resources

  1. Budget roadmap (PDF) - how to navigate budget documentation and processes 
  2. Budget in brief (PDF) - how funds will be invested into city services and infrastructure
  3. Business plans (PDF) - how the budget connects to our strategic plan.

Operating budget

Capital budget

Presentations

From December 9, 2019:

Department business plan presentations:

Capital presentations from February 3, 2020:

Budget day presentations from February 10, 2020:

2021 Budget confirmation presentations from December 7, 2020:

Budget reports to city council

2021 budget confirmation reports:

Corporate reports:

Department rate or fees and charges reports:

If you require a document in an alternate format, contact 519-747-6075, TTY (for deaf) 1-866-786-3941 or brad.witzel@waterloo.ca.


Budget structure and process

Through a carefully planned budget we deliver valuable services to residents. In Waterloo there are two different budget cycles during a four-year term of city council:

  • in year one, a single-year budget is approved (such as 2019)
  • in years two to four, a three-year budget is approved (such as 2020 to 2022)

Budget priorities are guided by our strategic plan and direct engagement with the community. City departments then write business plans that reflect these priorities and inform the final budget that is presented to city council.

City council considers the budget proposed by staff and finally approves a capital and operating budget. Capital covers building and rebuilding things such as roads, city facilities, or buying new vehicles. Operating covers the costs of delivering municipal services, such as salaries, supplies and electricity costs.

Watch: how a city budget works (3:28)


Past budgets

2019 Budget

2019 budget overview

In February 2019, city council approved operating and capital budgets that included:

  • a net operating budget of $75 million
  • a capital budget of $105.3 million
  • a city property tax increase of 2.2 percent
  • a city utilities increase of 2.4 percent (city portion)

The 2019 Budget in Brief (PDF) shows how these funds will be invested into city services and infrastructure. 

The 2019 Business Plans (PDF) show how this budget connects to our strategic plan

Operating budget documents

Capital budget documents

Budget presentations

From December 10, 2018: 

Business plan presentations from January 2019:

Budget reports to city council

If you require budget information prior to 2019, contact 519-747-6075, TTY (for deaf) 1-866-786-3941 or brad.witzel@waterloo.ca