The City of London unveiled its first 2017 budget update for the 2016-2019 multi-year budget at city hall.
The proposed increase of 2.8 % means the average London homeowner would pay an additional $76. The 49 page annual update released on Monday is much leaner than previous budget documents.
“Instead of dealing with this over a course of months, and months, and months, in just a few short weeks we’re going to find ourselves at the end of this process,” said Mayor Matt Brown.
City Staff are bringing forward seven operating amendments to council for consideration as part of the budget process. If all seven are approved the annual tax increase would rise slightly to 2.9 % or $77 for the average homeowner.
Mayor Brown admitted at Monday’s Strategic Priorities and Policy Committee meeting that he was uncomfortable with the fact approval of some of the amendments would require a slight increase in the overall tax levy.
“We made a commitment to Londoners and I think we need to find ways wherever possible to continue to live within our means,” said Brown.
City staff also presented three amendments to the Water and Wastewater & Treatment budgets. Staff are projecting a 3% increase effective January 1st, 2017. That translates into an approximate increase of $11 per year for water and $14 per year for wastewater and treatment for the average residential ratepayer.
“Of 95 City service areas, 90 service areas with tax supported operating budgets have asked for no amendments in the 2017 annual budget update. This proves the multi-year budgeting process is working here in London,” said City Director of Financial Planning and Policy Larry Palarchio.
A public participation meeting regarding the multi-year budget process has been scheduled for Nov. 21st at 4 p.m.
Council will debate the budget next at a meeting on November 24th.