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Council gets their first look at 2021 draft budget

Budget calls for a 3.9 per cent property tax increase and a 4.8 per cent increase to water/wastewater rates
budget
Greater Sudbury city council and those who tuned in to Tuesday's finance and administration committee meeting,  got their first look at the 2021 Greater Sudbury draft budget. (File)

Greater Sudbury city council and those who tuned in to Tuesday's finance and administration committee meeting,  got their first look at the 2021 Greater Sudbury draft budget.

The draft budget will receive review in the coming weeks, ahead of its final approval in March.

City CAO Ed Archer presented the draft budget on Tuesday evening, going through the highlights of the plan for the city's finances for 2021 with a budget that will see a 3.9 per cent property tax increase after assessment growth.

In very basic terms, should council approve the budget at a 3.9 per cent tax increase, a home worth $230,000 will see a property tax increase of $120 for the year, a home worth $450,000 will see a property tax increase of $235 for 2021.

Council will also have the option for a 2021 property tax increase with a special capital levy of 5.4 per cent, which would mean a $166 increase to property taxes for the same home worth $230,000.

Outlined in the presentation were a $630 million operating budget for 2021 and a $134 million capital budget. 

While the figures were laid out in a pie chart of how the city's operating budget is divvied out, it had to be clarified by the city's finance director, Ed Stankiewicz, that the percentages were not of the $630 million total operating budget, but rather from the $302 million tax levy.

Emergency services make up the largest slice of the pie when it comes to the operating budget, with police services accounting for 22 per cent, fire services accounting for nine per cent and paramedic services taking four per cent, for a total of 35 per cent of the city's operating budget between the three of them.

Road construction maintenance accounted for 19 per cent of the operating budget, while social services makes up 11 per cent.

When it comes to the city's capital budget, 43 per cent of the $134 million budget is allocated to roads and drains. Water and wastewater combine to make up 34 per cent of the capital projects budget, at 16 per cent and 18 per cent respectively.

The city's water/wastewater budget is a 100 per cent user-pay system and the draft budget calls for a 4.9 per cent increase to rates, or an annual impact of around $64 to a typical water user.

The finance and administration committee also received budget presentations from a number of its service partners on Tuesday, with all but Public Health Sudbury and Districts attending. The health unit is expected to make their budget presentation at a later date.

Four of the service partners listed in the draft budget have presented an increase to their budget over 2020.

Conservation Sudbury has a seven per cent increase over their 2020 budget, PHSD has a five per cent increase over 2020, Greater Sudbury Police Service has a 4.8 per cent increase over 2020 and Greater Sudbury Public Library has a 5.7 per cent increase over last year.

Full presentation can be found here