Hamilton’s new Council will start on the 2015 budget in January , and the preliminary budgetary pressures for next year add up to $22.6mil – or an over 3% tax increase. The City hopes to offset this partially with a 2% user fee increase for $2.3mil.
Public delegations will not be allowed until near the end of the budget process – after the decisions are made. City Council was criticized this year for the practice.
The budget pressures listed by staff include:
9.5m – Wages
2m – Capital
5.6m – Corporate
5.5m – Police
This does not include increases to rate budget items such as water.
Two pressures items of note: $500k for more road salt next year, and higher than expected costs at the Lister Block (Price tag not provided).
Increased Transparency Promised
Staff are sharing concept budget sheets that, if implemented, will make it easier for the public to understand how money is spent by the City and to track that spending.
The budget sheets will – for the first time – providing budget information by activity, not just by divisions.