2019 City Budget

The proposed 2019 City Budget is now available online.

Oshawa community members now have multiple opportunities to ask questions as well as provide feedback and comment on the proposed 2019 City Budget.

Have your say, Oshawa

Members of the public are invited to ask a question regarding the proposed 2019 City Budget or municipal budget process in the Question & Answer tool below.

Proposed 2019 City Budget Feedback

Feedback will be received online and on paper until 4:00 p.m. Friday, February 1 and will be shared with Council and City staff as part of the 2019 City Budget process.

Live Question & Answer Session on Connect Oshawa

Thank you to those who participated in the live Question & Answer session on Tuesday, January 15. Questions received are available for review below in the Question & Answer tab. Have a question you didn’t get a chance to submit? Not to worry – questions are still being accepted. Submit your question today!

Budget meetings

Mark your calendar! Attend the Council budget meetings in-person in Council Chamber (located at City Hall, 50 Centre St. S.) or watch online via webstream.

Upcoming meetings and events are available in Key Dates.

The proposed 2019 City Budget is now available online.

Oshawa community members now have multiple opportunities to ask questions as well as provide feedback and comment on the proposed 2019 City Budget.

Have your say, Oshawa

Members of the public are invited to ask a question regarding the proposed 2019 City Budget or municipal budget process in the Question & Answer tool below.

Proposed 2019 City Budget Feedback

Feedback will be received online and on paper until 4:00 p.m. Friday, February 1 and will be shared with Council and City staff as part of the 2019 City Budget process.

Live Question & Answer Session on Connect Oshawa

Thank you to those who participated in the live Question & Answer session on Tuesday, January 15. Questions received are available for review below in the Question & Answer tab. Have a question you didn’t get a chance to submit? Not to worry – questions are still being accepted. Submit your question today!

Budget meetings

Mark your calendar! Attend the Council budget meetings in-person in Council Chamber (located at City Hall, 50 Centre St. S.) or watch online via webstream.

Upcoming meetings and events are available in Key Dates.

Submit your questions regarding the City budget, City services and programs and the City budget process to communications@oshawa.ca

Question & Answer

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  • Why are people allowed to tent on city property along the pathway—it has become a major eyesore

    dublinerca asked about 1 month ago

    The Region is responsible for social housing, social services and emergency shelters. Durham Region outreach staff actively patrol the city to help individuals who are without shelter or in need of resources and connect them to the services they need, including to emergency shelters and housing programs. The Region recently expanded its services to help those who are vulnerable in our community, as well as leads the Oshawa Unsheltered Residents Task Force (O.U.R. Task Force) that includes representatives from the City of Oshawa and local social services organizations. For more information, visit www.Oshawa.ca/unsheltered

  • How will the new city budget address the housing crisis in Oshawa? Rent is too high for people with on ODSP or OW and homelessness is placing our most vulnerable citizens at risk of death and exploitation.

    susanbrooksfrank asked about 1 month ago

    Thank you for your care and concern. The safety and health of our community members is a priority for the City of Oshawa.

    We are part of a regional system of municipal government consisting of two tiers. The first tier is the regional level and the second tier is the municipal level. The Region of Durham is responsible for social services, including social housing, housing programs and shelters.

    The Region is actively working with the City of Oshawa and community partners to help ensure those who are most vulnerable take the appropriate precautions and find an emergency shelter. The Region recently expanded its available programs and services for individuals who do not have shelter and who are in need of social services. Learn more on the Region's website.

  • Does the budget include money for waterfront development?

    about 1 month ago

    As part of the City Budget, Council has approved funding to convert the City lands around the harbor into a recreational area. 

    This summer work began on the City lands at the Oshawa Harbour. These are the Marina lands and the West Wharf lands located east of Simcoe Street South and south of Harbour Road. 
    Work includes:
    • capping of City-owned lands
    • removing the former yacht club and 
    • removing the existing pedestrian bridge
    A new pedestrian bridge and trail was recently installed in the new harbour lands connecting to the existing Waterfront Trail. -The Harbour Park – Masterplan project is proposed in the 2019 capital budget. It is required to determine the future needs of the park, including feasibility of providing a public boat launch within this space.

    The 2019 Budget proposes a new reserve dedicating funds for future Harbor initiatives.

  • Tribute Communities Centre: what is the loan repayment amount?

    about 1 month ago

    The loan repayment amount is approximately $3.5M annually

  • Where does the City receive revenue?

    about 1 month ago

    77% comes from Property Taxes
    14% from Operating Revenue – includes building permits and user fees like fitness memberships, pet licences
    9% from Other Revenue – grants, and funding from other levels of government, interest on investments

  • What is assessment growth?

    about 1 month ago

    Assessment growth results from new homes and businesses moving into or opening in the municipality that generates new property taxation revenue.

    The new taxes are used to partially cover the cost of services such as snow removal and garbage collection that are delivered by the municipality to the new properties.

  • How much debt does the City have?

    about 1 month ago

    Municipal debt is an important capital financing tool. It can be used to fund capital projects. For instance, rehabilitating a bridge or constructing a building.

    The Municipal Act has regulations in place to ensure that municipalities use debt responsibly. We are legislated to prepare a balanced operating budget. 

    Legislation and City policies assist with maintaining the long-term financial health of the City while at the same time delivering the day-to-day services that our community needs.

    Annual repayments of the debt are made through the operating budget.

    Principal Balance for external debt is estimated to be approximately $73 million as of Dec 31/2018 

    Principal Balance for internal debt is estimated to be approximately $8.9 million as of December 31/2018.

  • Will the City bring back an auditor general?

    about 1 month ago

    The internal audit function can be performed by hired staff or by a professional firm through a competitive bid process.

    The City has a contract with KPMG to perform our internal audit function. KPMG is a leading Canadian firm in delivering Audit and other Tax and Advisory services.

    KPMG performs detailed procedural and control audits for the City, as well as value for money and operating review type audits. The audits are developed using a risk based approach and focus on procedures, controls, efficiency and value for dollar.

    Advantages to using an external firm to provide the City’s internal audit function include:
    • Many audits could be undertaken simultaneously, if required. 
    • Large audit firms have the capacity to do all levels of audits from traditional to value for money audits.
    • Direct municipal experience of large firms provides a base of knowledge that would take an individual Auditor years to acquire. A large external audit firm has a worldwide network of subject matter experts.
    • Eliminates any actual or perceived subjectivity/bias and any intentional or unintentional organizational or political influence, as the firm will work independent of staff and Council. 
    • No interruption of audit work due to vacation, sickness or turnover. 
    • Flexibility to take on ad hoc audits, as required, without having to postpone or interrupt ongoing audits. 

  • In December of 2016, the city manager's Asset Management Plan indicated the city faced a shorfall of nearly half a billion dollars for required maintenance and repair of existing infrastructure over the next 9 years. In the 2017 budget, council approved an additional 1% tax levy for infrastructure reserves. How much will be included in the 2019 budget for infrastructure reserves, both in $ and % figures?

    watchman asked about 1 month ago

    There are contributions of $10,121,000 proposed in the 2019 Operating Budget for capital reserves.  The dedicated infrastructure levy proposed in the 2019 Budget is 1.2% 

  • Why does the City use contracted services? Is it cheaper?

    about 1 month ago

    Contracted services are used by the City during short seasonal requirements, and for specialized services and skill sets not currently available internally.

  • Tribute Communities Centre: how much has been paid off?

    about 1 month ago

    The original amount owing on the Tribute Communities Centre at the time of building completion was $45 million.

    The City pays approximately $3.5 million annually on the debt associated with the TCC. Since 2006, the amount of principal debt paid off is $17.89 million.


  • How much does the City spend on agencies?

    about 1 month ago

    The 2019 operating budget for External Agencies is $12.8 million. This is approximately $77 per resident, based on the estimated population of 166,000.

    This provides funding to:

    • Oshawa Historical Society ($447,800)

    • Oshawa Public Libraries ($9.3 million)

    • Oshawa Senior Citizens Centres ($1.9 million)

    • Parkwood Foundation ($325,000)

    • Robert McLaughlin Gallery ($831,600)

  • What are Reserves?

    about 1 month ago

    Reserves/Reserve funds are monies set aside for specific purposes, including both operating and capital budget items. There are two main types of reserve/reserve funds:

    • Non-discretionary/Statutory/Obligatory – municipalities are required by legislation to establish certain reserve funds.  Examples of these are:

      • Developments Charges – a charge paid by developers to partially pay for the cost of new capital projects as a result of growth (e.g., new roads, new parks, new trails, new community centres)

      • Federal Gas Tax are funds transferred to municipalities from the Federal taxes collected from the gas sales.  These transfers provide stable, reliable and predictable funding for municipal infrastructure purposes.  These funds have restrictions on how they are to be used, they must be spent on environmentally sustainable municipal infrastructure following very specific categories (e.g., Community energy systems, local roads, bridges, active transportation infrastructures, brownfield development, sport and/or recreational infrastructures).

    • Discretionary – these reserves be established by Council for  specific purpose (e.g. vehicle/equipment replacement, municipal elections, tax appeal, extreme weather)

    The City has reserve fund policies in place and follows best practices to maintain our reserve funds at appropriate levels.

    And, to plan ahead and save for the renewal and replacement of our infrastructure, the City has an annual 1% dedicated infrastructure levy with annual increases of .1%. Funds collected from the levy will go directly towards infrastructure renewal and replacement.

  • What exactly is infrastructure and how will the City repair and maintain its infrastructure?

    about 1 month ago

    Infrastructure is the fundamental facilities and systems necessary for the continuance and growth of the City, such as:

    Roads, sidewalks, bridges, streetlights, recreation centres, pools, arenas, parks, trails, playgrounds and sports fields are all examples of infrastructure.

    Paying for the initial infrastructure is one thing, but all infrastructure assets will eventually require maintenance and upkeep.

    The City of Oshawa, like so many municipalities, is faced with the pressure of maintaining, repairing and replacing our aging infrastructure.

    As a mechanism to increase the funding for future infrastructure requirements, in the 2017 City Budget, the City introduced an annual 1% dedicated infrastructure levy and further increased it by .1% annually in future budgets. Funds collected annually from the levy are a contribution to the City’s capital reserves for future renewal and replacement of our infrastructure.

  • The bike trail from king to the lake is in need of a major upgrade—are there any plans to upgrade this spring?

    dublinerca asked about 1 month ago

    The City has 30 kms of paved and unpaved trails in its inventory that vary in age and condition. Reconstruction of deteriorated portions and paving of granular areas of the trail network are required to maintain safety, accessibility and reduce maintenance costs and potential liability. While there are funds proposed in the 2019 Capital budget for trail reconstruction, this specific section of trail is not identified for upgrade this year.

  • What is the operating budget? What are some of the known factors used in preparing the operating budget?

    about 1 month ago

    The operating budget is a financing plan for the City’s day-to-day operations such as snow removal, road maintenance, and by-law services.

    The operating budget is prepared using a base budget approach that considers cost pressures on programs and services currently being delivered. Some of the factors applied to the base budget are:

    • Salary – Salaries and benefits are updated to reflect annual increases based on collective agreements currently in effect.

    • Inflation – Inflation is based on the specific commodities used by the City.  Inflation rates for the various commodities are based on current agreements in place as well as current market trends which may impact bid prices received for City goods and services.  Various commodities range from 2% to 4% on most, but as high as 6% on some.

    • External Agencies – The City contributes funding to specific agencies that provide various recreation and cultural services to its residents. These agencies are Oshawa Senior Citizens Centres, Oshawa Public Libraries, Parkwood Foundation, Oshawa Historical Society and The Robert McLaughlin Gallery.

  • How are taxes determined?

    about 1 month ago

    There are 2 components to property taxes:

    First, your home’s assessed value as determined by MPAC – the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation

    Second, the total tax rate, as determined by the City of Oshawa, the Region of Durham, and the Province.

    The formula is:

    The assessed value of your home TIMES the Total Tax Rate

    This will give you the Total of your Property Taxes

    Let me provide an example – please keep in mind these figures are approximate.

    In 2018, the average home was assessed at $356,000. This is multiplied by the residential total tax rate, which is rounded to 1.41% for 2018. Based on this, the total tax bill would be about $5,008.

    Of the $5,008 you would pay in property taxes, the City only keeps 41% -- or approximately $2,053.

    The Region would receive approximately $2,053; and the Province of Ontario would receive approximately $902 for the local school boards.