Draft Ottawa budget proposes raise to municipal tax rate of 3 percent

Ottawa City Hall. File photo by Devyn Barrie.

Ottawa City Council has approved guidelines and timelines for the 2020 draft budget, including a three-per-cent overall increase to the municipal tax rate.

The three-per-cent increase would address the financial pressures facing the City, including changes to provincial funding, while maintaining service levels and investing in infrastructure and transit.

The draft budget will include $9.8 million to continue investing in transit infrastructure, including Stage 2 light-rail transit, and to compensate for the loss of anticipated provincial gas tax contributions. The $9.8 million was previously targeted  to eliminate the infrastructure gap – the difference between what the City spends and what it needs to spend to maintain infrastructure in good repair. The federal government’s one-time contribution of $57 million will be used over the next three years to address the infrastructure gap and to renew roads, bridges, sidewalks, paths and cycling facilities.

The draft budget for 2020 will be tabled at Council on Wednesday, November 6, followed by public meetings throughout the following weeks, where the Standing Committees of Council, Ottawa Police Services Board, Ottawa Board of Health and Ottawa Public Library Board will consider each portion of the budget and hear from residents. Meeting dates and information on how to make your voice heard will be available on ottawa.ca.

Council also approved the process to develop the priorities for this Term of Council, which would set the strategic direction for the City over the next four years. Councillors will consult with residents on the draft priorities during ward budget consultations. Council is expected to approve the priorities in December, when it considers and approves Budget 2020.



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