2017 City Budget

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Consultation has concluded

Thank you, Oshawa for taking part in the 2017 City Budget process! Between October 11, 2016 and January 10, 2017, we received more than 1,700 public feedback submissions.

In-person and online feedback opportunities included:

  • pre-budget survey – online, automated phone and in-person (paper)
  • feedback form on the proposed budget – online and in-person (paper)
  • online Question & Answer and Live Q & A
  • open house
  • presenting to Council as a delegation

Oshawa City Council has approved the 2017 City Budget. The approved budget invests in key strategic priorities to strengthen the future of the City while also balancing affordability with the delivery of quality services.

Missed the Budget deliberations? Watch the meetings online via webstream:

Thank you, Oshawa for taking part in the 2017 City Budget process! Between October 11, 2016 and January 10, 2017, we received more than 1,700 public feedback submissions.

In-person and online feedback opportunities included:

  • pre-budget survey – online, automated phone and in-person (paper)
  • feedback form on the proposed budget – online and in-person (paper)
  • online Question & Answer and Live Q & A
  • open house
  • presenting to Council as a delegation

Oshawa City Council has approved the 2017 City Budget. The approved budget invests in key strategic priorities to strengthen the future of the City while also balancing affordability with the delivery of quality services.

Missed the Budget deliberations? Watch the meetings online via webstream:

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

Do you have a budget related question? Submit your question(s) below. 

Qs & As and feedback submitted (up until January 10) will be shared with Council during the budget deliberations.

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    The following question was submitted via the Budget Survey (http://www.connectoshawa.ca/budget/survey_tools/survey). With the reduction of three Regional Councillors from Oshawa serving Durham Council, will there be a corresponding reduction of the size of Oshawa council as an effort to reduce future costs?

    almost 4 years ago

    Thank you for your question. 

    The size of Council is ultimately a matter to be decided by City Council; however it should be decided after consultation with the community. To this end, it is anticipated that the size of Council will be a matter discussed during the public consultation process associated with Oshawa’s Ward Boundary Review. 

    More information on the Ward Boundary Review is available on our website www.oshawa.ca/city-hall/oshawa-ward-boundary-review.asp and on Connect Oshawa: www.connectoshawa.ca/owbr

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    why is the city spending money on parkwood? wasnt it declared national historic site.. and as such receives federal monies? and didnt mclaughlin family leave money towards the house? if city is in financial problems.. why not let someone else run the recreational dept.. outsource the civic, legends.. why does city have to be involved in recreation?

    paua Asked almost 4 years ago

    The City contributes funding to specific agencies that provide various recreation and cultural services to its residents. These grants are allocated amongst 5 external agencies (Oshawa Historical Society, Oshawa Public Libraries, Oshawa Senior Citizens Centres, Parkwood Foundation and The Robert McLaughlin Gallery).

    Yes, you are correct that Parkwood is designated a National Historic Site. For more information on other levels of funding and grants, please contact Parkwood directly (tel: 905-433-4311; email: info@parkwoodestate.com).

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    Do we really need a police helicopter?

    jscudds Asked over 3 years ago

    The City of Oshawa is part of a regional system of municipal government consisting of two tiers. The upper tier is the regional level and the lower tier is the local level. The Region of Durham operates as a broader scale of government, providing services including police, EMS, social services and transit. The responsibility and budget for police services is with the Region of Durham and in the Regional budget. For more information, visit:  http://www.durham.ca/finance.asp?nr=departments/finance/propertytaxbudget.htm


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    I see a budget allocation to the Airport of 6mil which is over 15% of the total. I did a quick review to find the details for what the 6 mil is for and cannot find the details. Please explain what the costs are for. Thanks you

    domarra Asked over 3 years ago

    Thank you for your question. More information on the airport rehabilitation project and costs associated with the project can be found here: http://app.oshawa.ca/agendas/city_council/2016/2016_12_12/cm-16-39-2017-time-sensitive-capital-projects.pdf

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    The following question was submitted via the Budget Survey: Why is there not more choices in question #2 [in the budget survey that asked respondents to choose the priority that they feel most important]? All of the items fall under the umbrella of the Economic Development Services in Oshawa. Why is there no focus on reducing poverty and increasing investment in affordable housing?

    over 3 years ago

    Thank you for your input and questions.

    We will consider all suggestions (including your suggestion of adding additional priorities for respondents to select) when developing future opportunities for budget feedback.

    The responsibility of affordable housing and social services reside with the Region of Durham and are funded through the Regional portion of your property taxes (approximately 41% of your tax bill is collected on behalf of the Region).

    For more information on the Regional budget, visit: http://www.durham.ca/finance.asp?nr=departments/finance/propertytaxbudget.htm



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    The following question was submitted via the Budget Survey: Regarding question 1 [in the budget survey that asks respondents to choose an option to balance the budget], why is there no option to increase services? What exactly is a user fee?

    over 3 years ago

    Municipalities are legislated by the Municipal Act - Ontario to prepare a balanced budget; money received must equal money spent. Increasing service levels would require the City to raise additional revenue to pay for the enhancement or decrease other City services as an offset to the increase in order to maintain a balanced budget.

    To answer your question on user fees, a user fee represents a sum of money paid by an individual who chooses to access a service or facility provided by the City. Municipal services are funded by various revenue sources including property taxes, fees for services (i.e. building permits, licences) and user fees. User fees include recreation programs, fitness memberships, facility rentals, parking fees and pet adoption fees.

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    The following question was submitted via the Budget Survey: Why is Oshawa the highest taxed municipality in the GTA, with no appreciable difference in services. My understanding of the budget forecast is that the City decides what it needs first, then sets taxes to meet that requirement, rather than budgeting within existing confines.

    over 3 years ago

    The budget is our key planning document and provides an official statement about how much the City plans to spend during a set period of time and how it will pay for expenses.

    The operating budget is a financing plan for the City’s day-to-day operations such as snow removal, road maintenance and fire services. The capital budget is a financing plan for construction of new or rehabilitation of existing assets such as buildings, roads and parks.

    The operating budget is prepared using a base budget approach that considers cost pressures on programs and services currently being delivered. Some of the factors applied to the base budget are: anticipated salary savings; inflationary increases for commodities; contractual wage increases; and funding external agencies that provide various recreation and cultural services to residents (Oshawa Senior Citizens Centres, Oshawa Public Libraries, Parkwood Foundation, Oshawa Historical Society and The Robert McLaughlin Gallery).

    In addition, municipal services are funded by various revenue sources including property taxes, fees for services (i.e. building permits, licenses) and user fees (i.e. recreation programs), while capital projects are funded by property taxes, reserve and reserve funds, federal and provincial grants, debt and development charges.

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    The following question was submitted via the Budget Survey: We pay such high taxes the recreation act are at a higher cost then neighbouring towns. School are over packed, my street is not plowed in the winter. I'm not sure why I pay 6000 in taxes a year. Please let me know what services are out there for the money I am putting out.

    over 3 years ago

    The City collects property taxes on behalf of the City, Region and School Boards. For every dollar you pay in taxes, approximately 41 cents goes to the Region and 18 cents to local school boards.

    The City keeps only 41 cents from every tax dollar collected, which is managed by a budget that aims to balance competing priorities and challenges while providing quality services.

    The City portion of your tax dollars (approx. 40% of your total tax bill) goes to: services (e.g. snow removal, road maintenance and fire services); provides for continued maintenance and support of existing services and infrastructure (including Recreation facilities and parks); invests in key strategic priorities and infrastructure for the City’s future; and contributes funding to agencies that provide various recreation and cultural services to our residents (including libraries and seniors centres).

    The City is also faced with a number of pressures that are strenuous on resources, including rising hydro rates, debt servicing, new program and service delivery costs, increasing labour costs, inflationary costs, environmental impact costs (e.g. winter storms) and costs and changes in legislation.

    The proposed 2017 City budget proposes a 1.5% increase to the operating budget over 2016 plus a 1.0% dedicated infrastructure levy. The total increase of 2.5% is equivalent to $55.52 on a property assessed at $350,000 (the average house assessment value in Oshawa) on the City portion of taxes.


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    The following question was submitted via the Budget Survey: I would like to know more about how debt plays a part in the annual budget and how far into the future such budgetary commitments reach. How limiting are these debt commitments in the sense that they prevent the city meeting other present day needs?

    over 3 years ago

    Thank you for your question on how debt is used in the City’s annual budget. Debt is an instrument used by many businesses and governments to provide financing for various capital initiatives. The City has both external and internal debt which is managed within prescribed limits established by the Province and City Council.

    The repayment of debt is a component of the City’s annual operating budget. Debt maturity dates vary depending on date of issue and term of financing.  The City employs a mix of short and long term financing vehicles.


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    The following question was submitted via the Budget Survey: The City has a mandate to do more with less. When cuts are made, is there any kind of review process to find out what the after effects are? We are feeling some of those cuts.

    over 3 years ago

    Through its continuous improvement framework, the City applies LEAN principles to process review projects which may identify opportunities to improve, potentially creating capacity to streamline various aspects of the operations.

    The City conducts extensive analysis of services provided and service levels including benchmarking, statistical analysis, value for money evaluations and community input received through various engagement forums. This analysis and community impacts are fundamental drivers in modification decisions related to City services.