City council approves the city’s capital and operating budgets. The capital budget covers building and rebuilding things such as roads, city facilities, or buying new vehicles. The operating budget covers the daily expenses of delivering municipal services, such as salaries and wages, supplies and energy costs.

Watch: how a city budget works (3:28)

The city works on two different budget cycles during the four-year term of city council. In year one, a single-year budget is passed. This is followed by a three-year budget covering the rest of the term.

Approved 2019 budget

Council approved the 2019 budget on February 11. The approved 2019 operating and capital budgets will be posted here by March 31. 

Proposed 2019 budget

Proposed operating budget

Operating Budget Book

The operating budget covers the daily expenses of delivering municipal services such as snow removal, sewer maintenance, fire protection, bylaw enforcement, road maintenance and repairs and more, and the proposed budget for 2019 can be referenced in the key documents listed below under the operating budget book.

Proposed capital budget

Capital Budget Book

The capital budget covers building and rebuilding things such as roads, sewers, parks, city facilities and buying equipment and vehicles, and the proposed budget for 2019 and forecasted budget for 2020-2028 can be referenced in the key documents listed below.

Additional info

On Monday December 10, 2018, the 2019 budget was released to council and the public. View the accompanying presentations here:

A number of policies and plans (and the public engagement associated with these initiatives) contributed to the city's proposed budget and 2015 to 2018 strategic plan which saw more than 1,200 residents and stakeholders consulted to help set priorities for the city. Where the strategic plan leaves off, is where business planning begins at the department level which in turn, drives the budget process and strategic objectives. The 2019 Business Plans can be referenced here: 2019 Business Plans

Many other budget related reports contribute to the development of the city's budget and are referenced here:

Budget Release Council Reports:

Budget Related Council Reports

2019 Business Plans

The material above is available in alternative formats upon request. Contact Heather Lagonia at 519-747-8774, TTY (for deaf) 1-866-786-3941 or heather.lagonia@waterloo.ca. Three to five business days may be required for assistance.

Past budgets

Budget information prior to 2016 is available by request. Contact 519-747-8774 or budget@waterloo.ca.

2016 to 2018 budgets

In February 2016, council approved a three-year operating and capital budget for 2016 to 2018. The operating budget includes efficiencies of $850,000 and supports the operation of all city services. The capital budget includes large investments in road construction, stormwater rehabilitation, the uptown community improvement plan and park expansion.

Rate increases included:

Year Property tax % increase City water rate % increase
2018 2.1* 2.31
2017 2.3 3.62
2016 2.2 2.61

* Due to increased revenue in 2017, council reviewed the 2018 budget and reduced the property tax increase from 2.4 to 2.1 percent.

Supporting documents