City Council is considering its next FOUR years of budget. A good summary can be found at pages 4 to 9 of the budget at: http://www.london.ca/city-hall/budget-business/budget/Pages/Get-Involved-with-the-Multi-Year-Budget-Process.aspx
You will see operating budget will be $1 B by 2021 with 65% of that supported by property taxes. Note on page 8 that the largest expenditure is for police services (about 18% of the municipal share of your tax bill).
You will also note a number of “business cases” for additional spending (summarized on page 41 of the document). These include things like Back to the River (recommended by staff to Council) to additional money for creating and maintaining affordable housing to determining if a new City Hall is required (called the Master Accommodation Plan). There are also some budget reductions being considered such as ending the curbside collection of Christmas trees. The city is looking for your feedback on all of these matters, some of which are already included in the draft budget. You can provide feedback at: https://getinvolved.london.ca/budget/budget-survey
Council approved the 2020 Water and Wastewater & Treatment rates on November 26, 2019. The 2.5% increase for each service, effective January 1, 2020, translates into a combined increase of approximately $27 for the average residential ratepayer consuming 200 m3 of water per year. The Water and Wastewater & Treatment budgets will be discussed at open houses and public meetings in January 2020, a Public Participation meeting on January 23, 2020, and then deliberated by Council on multiple dates in later January and throughout February. Final Council approval is scheduled for March 2, 2020.
For those of you interested in taking a deeper dive into the operating and capital budgets, here are some areas which may be of interest. The full document is over 200 pages plus another 200 pages for the “business cases.”
If you are interested in the policies behind budgeting at the City, look at pages 22-23 of the document which provides a good summary.
Pages 31-32 summarize how changes in assessed value of your property affects the actual change in the property taxes you pay. The percent change in your property taxes may be more or less than the percentage change to the city budget.
Changes in funding from the Province will cost the city about $7.5 M (1.2% increase in the tax bill) in 2020 rising to nearly $10 M in 2023 (page 42).
A summary of the City’s capital budget is found on page 43. I found it interesting that $280 M is budgeted for capital in 2020 and only $150 M of that is tax supported. Almost 10% is paid for by Federal Gas Tax money.
A new library for Northwest London is planned for 2020 (page 63) along with a recreation centre in 2023. We don’t know if the location has been determined and if they will be co-located. It is unclear what, if any, impact there will be on the Sherwood Branch.
There are two big road projects (page 134) this year – Adelaide Street tunnel at the CPR tracks, and the widening of Wharncliffe Road between Becher and Springbank Drive. The rest of the new road projects are listed starting on page 186 to 190.