On March 2, 2020, London's City Council approved the 2020 to 2023 Multi-Year Budget which will result in an average annual tax increase of 3.9%, making it the second time the City has approved a four-year budget.
City Council also approved the 2020 to 2023 Water and Wastewater and Treatment budgets with an average annual increase of 2.5% for water rates and an average increase of 3.4% for wastewater and treatment rates.
Budget Timelines and Key Dates
In early 2023, development of the City of London’s third Multi-Year Budget will start. It will cover a four-year period, 2024 to 2027. This budget timeframe will be linked to the Strategic Plan to be developed by the Municipal Council elected in 2022.
This fall, the 2023 Annual Budget Update process will begin. Read more about this year's Annual Budget Update process.
Comments or Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you understand how your municipal budget works? We have developed a list of FAQs that will help you to better understand the budget process.
What is a Multi-Year Budget?
The Municipal Act, 2001 authorizes a municipality to prepare and adopt a budget covering a period of two to five years. The City of London has chosen to utilize a four year period.
Rather than approving a budget annually, Council approves budgets for the next four years, subject to annual re-adoption, to establish funding in support of achieving Council’s Strategic Plan.
The last year of the multi-year budget is subject to reconfirmation by the new term of Council, also ensuring any changes are linked to the Strategic Plan.
What are the benefits to a Multi-Year Budget?
A Multi-Year Budget allows:
- Better accountability between funding plans and costs of services to Londoners.
- Better aligns longer-term goals and objectives with longer-term funding plans.
- Provides greater certainty to residents about the future direction of their taxes.
- More efficient use of time and resources as the organization is not constantly preparing budgets.
Can changes be made after the Multi-Year Budget is approved?
Yes, an important element of the Multi-Year Budget is the Annual Budget Update process. It is required under the Municipal Act, 2001. Council must readopt the budget each year. Any changes that are required to make the budget compliant with the provisions of the Municipal Act, 2001, will be completed at this time. Annual updates will also provide Council the opportunity to adjust the budget to provide flexibility for events or circumstances that require funding and resource adjustments.
What is an operating budget?
The operating budget outlines the City's spending plan to implement Council's goals and priorities. It is based upon service area day-to-day operations of programs and services, such as the cost of water supply and wastewater collection and treatment, transit, garbage collection and disposal, recycling, parks, arenas, recreation programs, road maintenance, libraries, policing and public health services. Examples of operating expenses include, salaries and wages, insurance, supplies, fuel and utilities. Contributions to capital reserve funds and debt servicing payments are also made from the operating budget.
What are the City's operating funding sources?
The majority of the City’s operating budget is funded through property tax revenue. Other City funding sources consist of user fees, grants/subsidies, transfers from contingency reserves and other revenues such as investment income and fines/penalties. Although these other revenue streams are vital to providing services, they are very limited in nature and frequently restricted by legislative requirements and market conditions.
What is a capital budget?
The capital budget outlines the City's capital expenditure plan and related funding for assets and related programs, such as water and sewer infrastructure, roads, arenas and parks, which will provide or support services to residents over many years. This budget pays for all new investments or rehabilitation of assets currently under the City’s control. Examples of capital expenses include roads, bridges, parks, trails, community centres, sewers and water mains. Within the capital budget and plan, there are three classifications for capital projects: life cycle renewal, growth and service improvement.
What are the funding sources for capital projects?
Funding sources for capital projects include:
- Capital Levy
- Development charges
- Other government funding
- Reserves and reserve funds, subject to adequate balances
- Debt financing, provided that all other funding sources are exhausted