City Presents Proposed 2023 Budget
Jan 18, 2023
The proposed 2023 municipal budget was presented to the Finance and Administration Committee of Council at last night’s meeting.
Council will now review the document, and budget deliberation meetings will be held February 15 and 16, and February 27 to March 2, 2023. Additional meetings will be scheduled if needed. Council is expected to approve the final budget on March 7, 2023.
“I thank staff for the significant work and collaboration that has gone into developing this proposed budget,” said Ward 9 Councillor Deb McIntosh, Chair of the Finance and Administration Committee. “There are some challenging decisions ahead, but I look forward to reviewing the document over the coming weeks and working with my colleagues to finalize a budget that meets the needs of our community while ensuring our services remain affordable and accessible.”
Staff developed the budget following direction from Council in the second quarter of 2022 that the total change in property tax should be limited to 3.7 per cent. Service partners – entities funded at least in part by municipal taxes but controlled by separate Boards of Directors – were asked to follow the same guideline.
The Council-directed tax levy increase of 3.7 per cent includes both the City and a number of service partners. Municipal services increase the total levy change by 2.6 per cent over the previous year, and service partners – excluding the Greater Sudbury Police Service – increase it by an additional 0.3 per cent.
On January 12, the Greater Sudbury Police Services Board approved a 2023 budget greater than the guideline requested by City Council. The proposed change for Greater Sudbury Police Services increases the total tax levy change by 1.2 per cent, for a total of a 4.1 per cent increase. While this results in a potential levy change that is 0.4 per cent higher than the 3.7 per cent guideline provided by City Council, City staff identified options for service adjustments that could bring the total budget to 3.7 per cent as directed. Presented as business cases, these options for service adjustments would need to be approved by City Council to be included in the 2023 budget.
A 3.7 per cent tax increase represents an additional $122 a year for a home with a current assessment value of $230,000, or an extra $239 annually for a home assessed at $450,000. A 4.1 per cent increase would increase those numbers slightly to $136 and $265, respectively.
The proposed budget includes a recommendation for an additional levy to support accelerated infrastructure renewal work. This additional levy would be used to help close the gap between infrastructure renewal recommendations in the Asset Management Plan and the City’s current capital budget.
The budget also includes a proposed 4.8 per cent rate increase to the 2023 Water and Wastewater user rates, in accordance with the Long-term Financial Plan. Unlike other services, water and wastewater services are entirely supported by user rates and do not require a property tax subsidy. The rate increase reflects investments in annual renewal, repair and maintenance needed to keep the system sustainable. The impact on a typical user (200 m3) is approximately $5.88 per month.
Following Council’s direction, staff prepared a total of 45 business cases for service changes. These are part of the budget document and need to be voted in by Council to be included in the final, approved budget.
“Recognizing that municipal services shape the environment that residents rely on to fulfill their lifestyle needs and that businesses require to achieve their goals, the proposed 2023 budget presents significant opportunity for achieving positive outcomes,” said City of Greater Sudbury Chief Administrative Officer Ed Archer. “We are all focused on producing results that make people’s lives better, and staff look forward to supporting the review of the proposed budget to ensure it reflects Council’s priorities.”
According to the 2022 study by BMA Management Consulting Inc., Greater Sudbury property taxes continue to be among the lowest in Ontario for comparable properties, and the second lowest of the five major northern Ontario cities, behind only Sault Ste. Marie.
The proposed 2023 budget includes important investments in roads, facilities and community services.
The proposed operating budget for the City and its service partners is $701 million. This is the money needed to provide day-to-day services and operations. This year’s operating budget has been impacted by significant price increases, including fuel and diesel for vehicles and equipment, utilities, insurance and winter sand and salt.
The proposed capital budget is $155 million for additional investments or projects to maintain physical assets like roads, recreation facilities, building upgrades and equipment renewal. Nearly one-third of the capital budget is dedicated to road work, with the rest supporting substantial asset renewal in areas like facilities, drains, landfills, fire vehicles, equipment and leisure services, and water and wastewater projects that will improve quality, reliability, and customer service.
The budget includes expected revenues and expenditures for the year to support a business plan that provides services residents and businesses use every day. It can be downloaded at overtoyou.greatersudbury.ca.
Between November 1 and December 6, 2022, Greater Sudbury residents had the opportunity to share feedback on spending priorities and desired service levels through the City’s Over to You online engagement portal, by filling out a paper survey or by calling 311.
Now that the proposed budget has been presented, it will be posted on Over to You at overtoyou.greatersudbury.ca and residents will have additional opportunities to ask questions. Virtual budget town halls will be held in early February.
For more information on the 2023 budget visit greatersudbury.ca/budget.
- More than $57 million for roads and drainage projects including arterials, collectors, bridges, and stormwater improvements
- $14.1 million toward the Junction East Cultural Campus, as approved by Council in prior year budgets
- $4.4 million toward roof replacements at four community arenas and more than $2.5 million for improvements to pools
- $3.6 million toward the Pioneer Manor Bed Redevelopment project, as previously approved by Council as part of 2021 budget deliberations;
- $800,000 as the annual allocation for transitional housing, as approved in 2021 budget deliberations
- $350,000 for the first phase of community centre upgrades