Multi-Year Budget

On Friday, March 1, the 2024 to 2027 Multi-Year Budget was deemed adopted as amended. 

The 2024 to 2027 Multi-Year Budget includes a four-year average tax levy increase of 7.4%, representing an average annual increase of $274 for municipal services based on an average residential property. The first year of this multi-year budget includes a tax levy increase of 8.7% in 2024, representing an average increase of $286 based on an average residential property.

Read the full 2024 to 2027 Multi-Year Budget here.

Supplementary capital budget documents

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you understand how your municipal budget works? We have developed a list of frequently asked questions that will help you better understand the 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, the City 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 the Mayor and 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. The City 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 the Mayor and 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.
What is an Annual Budget Update?

An important element of the multi-year budget is the annual budget update process. It is required under the Municipal Act, 2001. The City must readopt the budget for that year and each subsequent year that the multi-year budget applies.

Annual budget updates provide the Mayor and Council the opportunity to change the budget for special circumstances that require funding and resource adjustments. This can be done by one of three types of budget amendments: New or Changed Regulation, New Council Direction, and/or Cost or Revenue Driver.

New or Changed Regulation: A new or changed legislation or regulation with a financial impact to the municipality

New Council Direction: A new Council direction that has transpired after the approval of the multi-year budget

Cost or Revenue Driver: A corporate or service area budget adjustment as a result of changes in economic conditions

How does Strong Mayor Powers affect the budget process?

The Municipal Act, 2001, is a provincial statute that regulates Strong Mayor Powers in Ontario. Under Part VI.1 of the Municipal Act, 2001, the Mayor of the City of London has been given special powers and duties, including the duty to prepare a budget.

The Mayor is required by the Municipal Act, 2001 and Ontario Regulation 530/22 to prepare a budget for the municipality and provide it to each member of Council and to the Clerk on or before February 1st of each year.  

After the budget is presented, Council has 30 days to pass resolutions to amend the Mayor's Budget. If there are no amendments passed within the 30-day period, the Mayor’s Budget is adopted.

If Council passes resolutions to amend the Mayor's Budget, the Mayor can decide to veto Council’s resolutions within 10 days of the expiry of the time period for Council to pass a resolution. If the Mayor doesn’t veto any amendments within the 10-day period, the budget as amended by Council resolutions is deemed adopted.

If the Mayor vetoes Council’s resolutions to amend the Mayor's Budget, Council can vote to override the veto within 15 days of the expiry of the time period for the Mayor to veto a resolution. In the vote to override a veto, two-thirds of the members of Council must vote to override the veto or the vote will fail. If Council overrides the Mayor’s veto, the amendment passed by Council will continue to have effect. If Council does not vote to override the Mayor’s veto, then the budget is adopted by the municipality after the expiry of the time period for Council to override the Mayor’s veto.

Can I see a breakdown of how my property taxes are being spent over the Multi-Year Budget? 

You can use our Property Tax Breakdown Calculator to see how you tax dollars are spent over the Multi-Year Budget.

Finance Flicks

We have created a series of “Finance Flicks” to answer some of your most asked questions: 

Glossary of budget terms

We have developed a glossary of budget terms that will help you better understand the process.

Agencies, Boards and Commissions (ABCs)

An independent body, typically (although not always) funded by the municipal tax base, that provide specific and/or specialized service to the London community.

Average Annual Tax Levy Impact 

This represents the estimated percentage increase to the aggregate tax levy from a business case. This is the four-year average of the annual impacts.

Average Annual Taxpayer Impact

This represents the estimated dollar impact to an average residential property (excluding education tax portion and tax policy impacts) of a business case over the multi-year budget. It is the four-year average of the cumulative impact to an estimated residential tax bill.

Base Budgets

Base Budgets represent the revenues and expenditures needed to continue to deliver existing services at the existing level.

Business Cases

In simplest terms, they are requests for funding or for specific initiatives which align with the City’s Strategic Plan.  They represent additional investments to enhance an existing service or deliver a new service. Business cases may result in decreases in funding required, either through discontinuation of a service, reduction in service level, or use of other funding sources to reduce the tax levy.

Civic Service Areas

Areas operating within the Corporation of the City of London that provide services to the London community. Some examples would be Neighbourhood and Community-wide Services, Legal Services and Enterprise Supports.

Property Tax Legislative Change Business Cases

Business cases brought forward to highlight and segregate impacts of legislated changes from other levels of government for which the City of London has little to no discretion to avoid while being required to maintain existing service levels

Property Tax Levy

The amount of funds that needs to be collected from all City of London property tax payers to cover the expenditures or portion of expenditures of services or a business case.


Last modified:Tuesday, June 25, 2024