At a past Council meeting on October 14, Council approved directions and timelines to develop the draft budget for 2021. The draft budget includes a three-per-cent increase to the municipal tax rate. What this means is that the City will build the budget with a 3% increase, but Council will still have an opportunity to review that budget once it is tabled on November 4.
The COVID-19 pandemic has put a financial pressure on the City, with staff projecting a $59.6-million deficit this year. Although the City is currently in a good financial position, a resurgence of COVID-19 could worsen cash flow and have an even bigger impact on the projected deficit. To address the projected deficit, Council approved deferring 33 capital projects to 2021 or later. This deferral will return $42.6 million to reserves and help address funding gaps if required.
If you were not able to participate in the public consultation on October 22, and you would like to provide your input on the City’s budget, you are still able to do so through Engage Ottawa, which is the City’s online engagement platform. In using this feature you can provide your feedback on City services, ask a question about the City budget and better understand how property tax dollars are spent. You are also welcomed to provide your comments to me by emailing email@example.com.
Additionally, here are some important dates for the City’s Standing Committee and Board meetings where discussions on the budget will take place:
- November 9 – OPSB’s Finance & Audit Committee Meeting
- November 17 – Environmental Protection, Water & Waste Management Committee Meeting
- November 18 – Transit Commission Meeting
- November 19 – Community & Protective Services Committee Meeting
- November 23 – Ottawa Police Services Board Meeting
- November 24 – Audit Committee Meeting
- November 26 – Planning Committee Meeting
- November 30 – Ottawa Board of Health Meeting
- December 1 – Finance & Economic Development Meeting
- December 1 – Ottawa Public Library Board Meeting
- December 2 – Transportation Committee Meeting
- December 3 – Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee Meeting
If you would like to attend one of these meetings to speak to an item that you are particularly passionate about, you can register as a delegate or submit written comments to the committee coordinator. To find the appropriate committee coordinator, please contact my office at Diane.firstname.lastname@example.org