Getting Your Input on the Next City Budget
As we gear up for the shift from summer into fall, and the return to school, that means here at City Hall we will be moving into budget season. This year’s budget process is going to be different following the introduction of strong mayor powers in cities like Kingston. Starting with the 2024 budget, it is now my responsibility as mayor to oversee the City budget and present it to City Council – and I take this new responsibility very seriously. I know there are several critical needs for our community, but it is important to limit property tax increases as much as possible given the challenges residents face in making ends meet right now.
This week, I issued a new mayoral decision that provides direction to City staff on some important details for next year’s budget. First and foremost, I’ve directed that the 2024 budget should include one of the lowest property tax rate increases among other cities in Ontario, with a firm ceiling of no more than a 2.5% increase plus 1% for infrastructure. I’ve also instructed staff to maintain existing City services that residents depend on while including new investments in a number of key service areas. This means the budget will include new money to expand housing options, repair roads and examine new transit and recreation opportunities. There will also be new investments to grow health care options for residents and facilitate more electric vehicles in our transit and City fleet.
As we start all of this work, I want to know what programs and services are important to you and what you think should or should not be included in the budget I will be presenting to City Council later this fall. You can fill in the online survey on Get Involved Kingston, write to me directly at Mayor@cityofkingston.ca, or drop by one of the in-person events like the August 31st Public Market in Market Square. Your input can help shape this next budget.
**Update: The online survey closed on September 8. However, input can still be provided through email to Mayor@cityofkingston.ca.