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Kitchener budget continues to balance affordability and sustainability

Posted on Monday January 23, 2017

KITCHENER – Kitchener council approved their 2017 budget which includes a city tax rate increase of 1.73 per cent. Based on the average residential household assessment of $291,000, the city portion of the annual property tax rate will increase by $18 per year, or $1.50 per month. Combined with water, sanitary and stormwater utility increases of 8.75 per cent ($93 per year or $7.75 per month) the average homeowner in Kitchener will pay $111 more a year in 2017.

“I am pleased with where we ended up with this year’s budget,” said finance and corporate services committee chair Coun. Scott Davey. “In light of rising costs from other levels of government, I'm pleased that Kitchener managed to keep our property tax increase under inflation, and among the lowest in Ontario.”

Investing in aging infrastructure
Significant portions of the water and sewer system are reaching the end of their lifecycles and require replacement. The 8.75 per cent approved increases are part of a multi-year strategy to move the city towards a sustainable funding level that will address the backlog of infrastructure that needs replacing.

To help alleviate the financial pressure of increased utility rates, property owners can apply for stormwater credits at www.kitchener.ca/stormwatercredits.

Combined increases still place Kitchener among lowest tax rates in Ontario
With the latest increase, Kitchener continues to be one of the most affordable cities in the province, enjoying among the lowest combined tax and utility rates of 25 of Ontario’s largest cities as well as the lowest combined tax and utility rates of Waterloo Region’s three major cities.

“I would like to extend my sincere thanks to staff. I know there are many hands involved in putting together the budget over the course of the year,” said Mayor Berry Vrbanovic. “I think this budget strikes the right balance of strategic investments in infrastructure, funding for projects like the Kiwanis Park splash pad that help sustain a vibrant quality of life for residents, while keeping costs as low as possible. I would also like to thank Coun. Davey for his leadership during the budget process.”

2017 capital budget
The 2017 capital budget includes investment in priority areas while decreasing the city’s debt load. Priority areas for 2017 include:
• Addressing aging city assets like water, sanitary, and stormwater infrastructure, or roofs on city facilities
• Investing in community improvements like the Iron Horse trail or Kiwanis park pool
• Implementing the Make it Kitchener economic development strategy

Find out more about where tax dollars go in this infographic.

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