The budget is our annual financial plan and sets the direction for the work to be completed over the upcoming year.

Learn about the 2024 budget

On this page:

  1. Average residential impact
  2. Budget overview
  3. Investment options
  4. Read the budget
  5. Learn about municipal budgets

Average residential impact

For the average home in Kitchener, the rate increases for the 2024 budget are: 

  • property taxes: 3.9% or $47 annually
  • water utility: 4.9% or $21 annually
  • sanitary sewer utility: 7.1% or $39 annually
  • stormwater utility: 7.4% or $17 annually

Our  2024 budget represents a combined annual increase of $124 for the average household, based on the average assessed value of $326,000 and annual water consumption of 170m3.

Budget overview

The 2024 budget addresses your priorities:

Supporting city services

The 2024 operating budget has been prepared using the previous year’s budget as a starting point, with the goal of maintaining the programs and services that Kitchener residents and businesses rely on. These base services, often referred to as core services, are delivered efficiently through a five-department structure and include activities such as fire protection, park maintenance, snow clearing, recreational programming and many others.

Similar to 2023, challenging economic conditions persist and are expected to continue into 2024 with inflation remaining higher than normal (hovering around 4%). These pressures have an impact on the costs of delivering city services. Recognizing that these economic pressures, along with the high interest rate environment that we are experiencing, have created affordability challenges for many, staff have prepared a budget that maintains current service levels while at the same time balancing the need for a reasonable rate increase. A property tax increase of 3.9% represents a $47 per year, or $3.92 per month increase for the average household in Kitchener, ensuring that we can continue to deliver around 50 valued programs and services for a growing community.

Focus on infrastructure

We own and maintain approximately $9.2 billion worth of assets, including:

  • hard infrastructure like roads and bridges, underground infrastructure related to water, wastewater and stormwater
  • community-based infrastructure like facilities, parks and open spaces, and forestry

Having sufficient funding for asset replacement is a challenge that all municipalities across Canada are facing. Most of our infrastructure was built after the 1950s, as we experienced extensive population growth. This growth put more demands on the need for infrastructure and associated city services without the funding tools available at the municipal level to adequately address future asset replacement needs.

Despite these challenges, we’ve been proactive in trying to address our infrastructure funding needs, including launching the Water Infrastructure Program (WIP) in 2017 to fund the replacement of underground infrastructure (water, sanitary and storm). We completed a detailed review of facilities in 2019 that resulted in allocating a greater amount of capital funding toward facility replacement needs, applying for federal and provincial grant opportunities, and successfully securing over $150M in federal and provincial funding over the past three years, including $42M from the recently announced Housing Accelerator Fund.

The 2024 budget continues to build on previous progress by moving forward with a new WIP rate model for the next four years, allocating an additional $5M in funding in the 2024 capital budget to address critical facility replacement needs, and by continuing to increase spending on energy related retrofits that not only have an impact by reducing the city’s operating costs, but contribute towards a more sustainable, low-carbon future.

Advancing strategic priorities

We recently launched our 2023-2026 Strategic Plan, which will help guide many of the strategic investments in future budgets. For the 2024 budget, the proposed strategic priorities for the mayor and council’s consideration reflect actions identified during the first two years of the 2023-2026 Strategic Plan. This includes additional investments being made under the five goal areas within the strategic plan:

  • Building a Connected City Together
  • Cultivating a Green City Together
  • Creating an Economically-Thriving City Together
  • Fostering a Caring City Together
  • Stewarding a Better City Together

Extensive engagement took place to develop the strategic plan for the next four years, including developing a 20-year vision for Kitchener: Building a city for everyone where, together, we take care of the world around us – and each other.

Engagement included completing a statistically valid survey and the involvement of a demographically representative resident panel that helped validate and confirm priorities and actions that are included in the city’s strategic plan. The 2024 budget includes approximately $5.5M in investments to advance strategic priorities. These initial investments will build on progress made during the last four years and allow the city to hit the ground running in implementing key priorities in the 2023-2026 Strategic Plan.

Investment options

In the 2024 budget, there is an additional $1 million available that council can allocate towards strategic investments. This is in addition to the $5.5 million in strategic investments outlined above that will help advance the goals of our 2023-2026 Strategic Plan.

We want to know what you think! Read about the investment options we’re considering and let us know which should be a priority by visiting our Engage Kitchener page and completing our survey by Tuesday, November 28. We will provide the survey results to the mayor for consideration before the final proposed budget is brought forward on Monday, December 4.

Take the survey

Read the budget

Check out our draft budget document to learn about our financial situation going into the new year and to learn more about service delivery in 2024.

Related documents:

Learn about municipal budgets

Check out these videos to learn more about our municipal budget: