Budgets

Learn more about the approved 2020 to 2022 budget, and how the budget process works.


On this page

  1. 2021 budget confirmation
  2. 2020 to 2022 budget highlights
  3. 2020 to 2022 budget documents
  4. 2019 budget documents
  5. Budget structure and process
  6. Past budgets

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.

2020 to 2022 budget highlights

The 2020 to 2022 budget was approved on February 10, 2020.

Read the media release for full details.

This budget supports an inclusive, strong, green and vibrant Waterloo that is within the financial capacity of the community.

It delivers core civic services for residents and businesses and contains investments for the future to ensure the city can respond to the needs of a growing city.

The budget is closely aligned with the city’s strategic plan, which was built with input from close to 11,000 people. 

Approved funding and rate increases are as follows:

Budgets

  2020 2021 2022
Operating budget $79M $83M $87M
*Capital budget *$55M *$140M $80M

*updated December 7, 2020 via report COPR2020-054

Property tax rate increases

  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%

Utility rate increases

  2020 2021 2022
*Utility rate increase (city portion) 2.5% *1.3% *2.2%

*updated December 7, 2020 via report IPPW2020-072

Online public engagement

Several public engagements were held in 2018 and 2019 and the results helped to inform the 2020-2022 draft budget.

An online survey was also posted to validate the budget decisions that were made as a result of the input received through the previous engagements.

View a summary of the survey results (PDF)


2020 to 2022 budget documents

There are a number of technical documents, presentations and papers that make up the detailed budget information package.

To get started, review these 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.

Detailed budget documents are below. If you require a document in an alternate format, contact 519-747-8774, TTY (for deaf) 1-866-786-3941 or heather.lagonia@waterloo.ca.

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:


2019 budget documents

Detailed budget documents are below. 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.

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


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

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