2021 City Budget

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The City of Oshawa is preparing the 2021 City Budget. Read on to learn how you can stay informed.

Thank you to all those who attended a virtual Budget Open House and/or completed a 2021 City Budget feedback form. Feedback was received until 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 30 and will be shared with members of Council and City staff during the 2021 City budget process.

Recordings of the five ward-specific virtual Budget Open Houses are available on the City Budget webpage.

Budget Review

City Council will receive the proposed 2021 City budget in November 2020. Delivery and review meetings will run accordingly:

  • Friday, November 13 - Council Budget Delivery
  • Friday, November 27 - Council Budget Review
  • Friday, December 4 - Council Budget Review
  • Friday, December 11 - Council Budget Approval

Please note, the safety and health of our community members and staff is the top priority for the City of Oshawa. As a result, the above schedule is subject to change should medical advice from provincial and regional health authorities be adjusted.

Members of the public are welcome to watch the budget meetings online via webstream.

The City of Oshawa is preparing the 2021 City Budget. Read on to learn how you can stay informed.

Thank you to all those who attended a virtual Budget Open House and/or completed a 2021 City Budget feedback form. Feedback was received until 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 30 and will be shared with members of Council and City staff during the 2021 City budget process.

Recordings of the five ward-specific virtual Budget Open Houses are available on the City Budget webpage.

Budget Review

City Council will receive the proposed 2021 City budget in November 2020. Delivery and review meetings will run accordingly:

  • Friday, November 13 - Council Budget Delivery
  • Friday, November 27 - Council Budget Review
  • Friday, December 4 - Council Budget Review
  • Friday, December 11 - Council Budget Approval

Please note, the safety and health of our community members and staff is the top priority for the City of Oshawa. As a result, the above schedule is subject to change should medical advice from provincial and regional health authorities be adjusted.

Members of the public are welcome to watch the budget meetings online via webstream.

Share questions regarding the 2020 City Budget and 2021 City Budget process here. We'll do our best to get back to you within two business days.

Question & Answer

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    The following question was submitted during the Budget Virtual Open House: Will property taxes increase due to a shortage of income caused by COVID-19?

    17 days ago

    The 2021 proposed budget will be presented to City Council on Friday, November 13 for Council consideration, which will begin Council review of the budget and budget deliberations.

    Members of the public are welcome to watch the budget meetings online via webstream on the following dates beginning at 9:30 a.m.:

    • Friday, November 13 – delivery of the proposed 2021 City budget to Council
    • Friday, November 27 – Council review of the proposed 2021 City budget
    • Friday, December 4 – Council review of the proposed 2021 City budget
    • Friday, December 11 – Council review and approval of the proposed 2021 City budget

    The City only keeps about 41% of the total tax bill that you pay. The City collects property taxes on behalf of the City, the Region of Durham and the school boards. For every dollar you pay in taxes, approximately 41 cents goes to the Region, 18 cents to the school boards and the remaining 41 cents to the City, which is managed by a budget comprised of capital and operating costs.

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    The following question was submitted during the Budget Virtual Open House: What is the City doing to recover costs after the closure of GM and now COVID?

    17 days ago

    The City of Oshawa has implemented a number of cost containment measures in response to a number of changes including COVID-19 that have significantly altered City operations. As a result of cost control measures and through the management of discretionary spending, the deficit in the City’s operating budget has been reduced.

    Earlier this year, a detailed review of the operating and capital budgets was conducted to look for savings. Following the review, discretionary staff training, conferences, professional development and travel was suspended and a temporary hiring freeze was put into place.

    To assist our community financially, the City provided the following property tax relief measures:

    • a two month grace period on the April installment so that no penalties and interest were charged until after June 30, 2020;
    • the first installment of the final residential billing, slated for June 26, 2020 was delayed by one month;
    • dishonoured cheque fees and pre-authorized  payment related fees were waived; and
    • tax collection activities were suspended.

    We are also pleased to share that the City has received $4 million in financial assistance through the federal provincial Safe Restart Agreement. These funds will assist in addressing financial pressures related to COVID-19 and maintain critical services. Any excess funding must be put into reserves to be access to support COVID-19 operating costs that may continue in 2021. It is hoped that the emergency financial assistance received will help balance the 2021 budget.

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    The following question was submitted during the Budget Virtual Open House: Is the City planning to up the costs of the fitness centre and programs at Delpark like fun swims and drop-in skating?

    17 days ago

    The City has a General Fees & Charges bylaw in place, which is reviewed annually. The General Fees & Charges bylaw has not yet been reviewed in the 2020 calendar year, and will be reviewed in the coming weeks. The City places a newspaper ad on the City Page of Oshawa This Week and Oshawa Express to notify the public that the By-law is being updated. The ad includes a link to where the Report can be accessed as well as includes the meeting dates that Committee/Council will consider the Report. To subscribe to receive Public Notices and notifications of Council/Committee Meetings by email, visit www.oshawa.ca/subscribe.

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    The following question was submitted during the Budget Virtual Open House: I would like to see specific budget items as it relates to Ward 1 for 2020 and 2021.

    17 days ago

    The City budget is comprised of two components: operating and capital. The operating budget covers the costs of delivering services throughout the city to the community. This includes snow removal, waste collection, fire services, recreation programs, staffing costs and much more. The capital budget focuses on investing in and renewing the City’s core infrastructure and providing the infrastructure necessary to respond to our growing city. Approved capital projects for 2020 in Ward 1 included the replacement of the dehumidification system at Delpark Homes Centre, Wilson Road North Culvert Replacement (south of Columbus Road East), road improvements between Wilson Road North to Townline Road North and the installation of traffic control signals at the intersection of Harmony Road and the south entrance to the Delpark Homes Centre. To learn more about the 2020 approved budget, visit www.oshawa.ca/budget.

    The 2021 proposed budget will be presented to City Council Friday, November 13 for Council consideration and budget deliberations. Members of the public are welcome to watch the budget meetings online via webstream on the following dates beginning at 9:30 a.m.:

    • Friday, November 13 – delivery of the proposed 2021 City budget to Council
    • Friday, November 27 – Council review of the proposed 2021 City budget
    • Friday, December 4 – Council review of the proposed 2021 City budget
    • Friday, December 11 – Council review and approval of the proposed 2021 City budget
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    Considering revenues are down, crime is down and oshawa police seem to travel and congregate in groups quite frequently which looks like an overstaffing situation with not enough calls to keep everyone busy on their own, constantly getting new equipment and vehicles, I seriously feel the police budget is bloated and should be frozen, (only because the DRPS will react badly if their budget is ever reduced). I would like to see some transparency in Oshawa with crime statistics published regularly, and less police secrecy.

    mags asked 23 days ago

    Good morning mags, thank you for your comments. 

    The City of Oshawa is part of a two-tier municipality. The City is the lower tier and the Region of Durham is the upper tier. In two-tier municipalities, the upper tier provides services for all of the lower tier municipalities. For example, the Region of Durham provides blue box collection, maintenance, traffic signals, Transit, Police Services and more. As a result, the Durham Regional Police Services budget is overseen by the Region of Durham, not the City of Oshawa. 

    As part of their business planning and budget process, the Region is inviting community members to ask questions and share ideas and 2021 budget priorities during a virtual Town Hall on Wednesday, October 21 between 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. You can learn more, including how to register at https://yourvoice.durham.ca/durhambudget

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    Oshawa has almost the highest tax rate in Canada, there is no way you can increase taxes. You have not provided services for years in this town. What have you been doing with our money. The neglect in the downtown core has become incredibly evident. And now that all of Toronto is heading this way and the disgusting development of a "town" up near Kedron even more tax dollars will be rolling in. Maybe developers should be mandated to provide these types of facilities when they destroy what's left of our beautiful countryside.

    Sylvia asked about 2 months ago

    Good afternoon Sylvia, thank you for your question. Of every $1 in taxation collected, the City of Oshawa keeps $0.41 with the remainder going to the Region of Durham and the school boards. The City’s share pays for local services such as Fire Services, parks, waste collection, recreation, roads and streetlighting.

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    How are taxes determined?

    2 months ago

    There are two components to property taxes:

    1. Your home’s current assessed value as determined by MPAC – the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation
    2. The total tax rate, as determined by the City of Oshawa, the Region of Durham, and the Province.

    The formula is the current assessed value of your home times (x) the Total Tax Rate.

    This will give you the Total of your Property Taxes.

    For example, please keep in mind these figures are approximate:

    In 2019, the average home was assessed at $356,000. This is multiplied by the residential total tax rate, which is rounded to 1.34% for 2019. Based on this, the total tax bill would be about $4,770.

    Of the $4,770 you would pay in property taxes, the City only keeps 41% -- or approximately $1,956.

    The Region would receive approximately $1,956; and the Province of Ontario would receive approximately $858 for the local school boards.

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    What is the operating budget? What are some of the known factors used in preparing the operating budget?

    2 months ago

    The operating budget is a financing plan for the City’s day-to-day operations such as snow removal, road maintenance and by-law services.

    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:

    • Salary – Salaries and benefits are updated to reflect annual increases based on collective agreements currently in effect.
    • Inflation – Inflation is based on the specific commodities used by the City.  Inflation rates for the various commodities are based on current agreements in place as well as current market trends which may impact bid prices received for City goods and services.  Various commodities range from 2% to 4% on most, but as high as 12% on some.
    • External Agencies – The City contributes funding to specific agencies that provide various recreation and cultural services to its residents. These agencies are Oshawa Senior Citizens Centres, Oshawa Public Libraries, Parkwood Foundation, Oshawa Historical Society and The Robert McLaughlin Gallery.
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    What is the capital budget?

    2 months ago

    The capital budget represents investments in key strategic priorities for the City's future and covers the costs of constructing and renewing buildings, roads and parks.

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    Where does the City receive revenue?

    2 months ago

    83% comes from Property Taxes.

    9% from User fees – includes building permits and user fees like fitness memberships, pet licences.

    8% from Other Revenue – grants, and funding from other levels of government, interest on investments.