St. Catharines Budget

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The City has finalized drafts of the 2022 Operating and Capital Budgets. We are looking to the public for their input and questions. Please continue reading to learn more about the budget process, and feel free to ask a question or provide your input via this page's Q&A tool.

Budget Basics

The annual budget for the City of St. Catharines can be a lot to unpack for anyone. So, before diving in, let’s review a bit of all that is involved in our annual budget process. Watch our short video on the different types of budgets, or keep reading for more info.


Capital vs. Operating

There are two primary budgets prepared by staff and voted on by Council: the Capital and Operating Budgets.

Operating Budget:

The Operating Budget covers the day-to-day operations of the City, things like staff salaries, materials for repairs, electricity to keep the lights on, programs and more. This budget is primarily funded by the City’s portion of municipal property tax bills and revenues collected through City services and programs. It is the operating budget, as approved by Council, that sets the City tax rate.

Examples of operating budget items:

  • Staff salaries
  • Recreation programs
  • Facility maintenance
  • Administrative services
  • Utilities and materials

Capital Budget:

This budget pertains to large scale investments in tangible amenities, facilities and infrastructure. Funding for the Capital Budget is drawn in part from tax revenues, alongside money drawn from reserves, debentures and other funding sources such as grants from Federal and Provincial Governments.

Examples of Capital Budget items:

  • Road resurfacing and replacement
  • New buildings
  • Major upgrades or renewal of facilities
  • Construction of parks and amenities

Rate Supported Budgets:

There are two rather unique budgets separate from the operating and capital budgets. These are parking and water / wastewater. Both budgets, including their operating and capital costs, are covered directly by revenues generated through their related services.

Under the Parking Budget infrastructure and operations for paid parking are financed by the rates collected through paid parking and parking tickets.

The Water / Wastewater Budget funds the City’s water delivery and wastewater (sewer) systems through revenues generated by water / wastewater bills.


Taxes: A Three-Way Split

Property taxes as a whole are made up of three individual pieces: the City portion, the Region portion, and the Province’s education portion.

The City portion, which pays for City of St. Catharines operations, services and assets, is dependent on the amount approved by Council in the operating budget. The more spent on the operating budget the higher the City portion of the finalized tax rate.

The Region portion pays for Niagara Region operations, services and assets such as Public Health, waste management, police and Regional Roads. The Region’s tax rate is dependent on the budgetary deliberations of Regional Council.

The education portion is set and administered by the Province of Ontario, and helps to pay for public education.

The Finalized Rate:

Once all three levels of government have set their individual rates, they are combined into one finalized rate. That rate is then calculated against the assessed value of a home or property to generate a total of taxes owed on the property for the year.

Once the amount owed has been calculated, the City of St. Catharines administers billings and collections for all properties within its borders. Taxes are collected by the City and then divided between the City, Region and Province.

For more information on taxes, including information on where taxes go, and how they are calculated, visit stcatharines.ca/Taxes.


Learn more and give feedback

EngageSTC is a space to learn more about the budget process, the 2022 budget as it evolves, and to also share your feedback. Any input will be shared with Council and City staff as part of the process.

Complete the Did You Know Survey? below to learn more, or use the Q & A tab to ask questions and provide feedback.

2022 Budget Documents

Looking for information about the 20212 budget? View the Draft 2022 Operating Budget and the Draft 2022 Capital Budget.


The City has finalized drafts of the 2022 Operating and Capital Budgets. We are looking to the public for their input and questions. Please continue reading to learn more about the budget process, and feel free to ask a question or provide your input via this page's Q&A tool.

Budget Basics

The annual budget for the City of St. Catharines can be a lot to unpack for anyone. So, before diving in, let’s review a bit of all that is involved in our annual budget process. Watch our short video on the different types of budgets, or keep reading for more info.


Capital vs. Operating

There are two primary budgets prepared by staff and voted on by Council: the Capital and Operating Budgets.

Operating Budget:

The Operating Budget covers the day-to-day operations of the City, things like staff salaries, materials for repairs, electricity to keep the lights on, programs and more. This budget is primarily funded by the City’s portion of municipal property tax bills and revenues collected through City services and programs. It is the operating budget, as approved by Council, that sets the City tax rate.

Examples of operating budget items:

  • Staff salaries
  • Recreation programs
  • Facility maintenance
  • Administrative services
  • Utilities and materials

Capital Budget:

This budget pertains to large scale investments in tangible amenities, facilities and infrastructure. Funding for the Capital Budget is drawn in part from tax revenues, alongside money drawn from reserves, debentures and other funding sources such as grants from Federal and Provincial Governments.

Examples of Capital Budget items:

  • Road resurfacing and replacement
  • New buildings
  • Major upgrades or renewal of facilities
  • Construction of parks and amenities

Rate Supported Budgets:

There are two rather unique budgets separate from the operating and capital budgets. These are parking and water / wastewater. Both budgets, including their operating and capital costs, are covered directly by revenues generated through their related services.

Under the Parking Budget infrastructure and operations for paid parking are financed by the rates collected through paid parking and parking tickets.

The Water / Wastewater Budget funds the City’s water delivery and wastewater (sewer) systems through revenues generated by water / wastewater bills.


Taxes: A Three-Way Split

Property taxes as a whole are made up of three individual pieces: the City portion, the Region portion, and the Province’s education portion.

The City portion, which pays for City of St. Catharines operations, services and assets, is dependent on the amount approved by Council in the operating budget. The more spent on the operating budget the higher the City portion of the finalized tax rate.

The Region portion pays for Niagara Region operations, services and assets such as Public Health, waste management, police and Regional Roads. The Region’s tax rate is dependent on the budgetary deliberations of Regional Council.

The education portion is set and administered by the Province of Ontario, and helps to pay for public education.

The Finalized Rate:

Once all three levels of government have set their individual rates, they are combined into one finalized rate. That rate is then calculated against the assessed value of a home or property to generate a total of taxes owed on the property for the year.

Once the amount owed has been calculated, the City of St. Catharines administers billings and collections for all properties within its borders. Taxes are collected by the City and then divided between the City, Region and Province.

For more information on taxes, including information on where taxes go, and how they are calculated, visit stcatharines.ca/Taxes.


Learn more and give feedback

EngageSTC is a space to learn more about the budget process, the 2022 budget as it evolves, and to also share your feedback. Any input will be shared with Council and City staff as part of the process.

Complete the Did You Know Survey? below to learn more, or use the Q & A tab to ask questions and provide feedback.

2022 Budget Documents

Looking for information about the 20212 budget? View the Draft 2022 Operating Budget and the Draft 2022 Capital Budget.


Q&A

Have a question for the City regarding the  budget? Do you have a question about the budget process? Want to provide input or feedback? Let us know and we will try to have City staff answer your question.

You need to be signed in to add your question.

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    MPAC assessment. House prices have gone up 30-40% recently. Assessed value has changed correspondingly when you are reassessed. Therefore taxes go up by same amount. Looks like a windfall for the city but a nightmare for home owners on fixed incomes, especially seniors. Since property taxes account for a large (the largest?) source of revenue for the city, the amount collected from taxes should be going up in proportion to the increase in assessed value. This never gets mentioned in the budgets. How much more is the city collecting as a result of large increases in price of house? This happened to me last year. 20% increase by MPAC. I protested and they reduced it slightly. But taxes still went from about $8,000 to about $10,000. Is the city considering lowering the tax rate to stop large increases of this type? The talk about a 2 or3% increase is a bit of a joke when increases of this magnitude are forced upon us by MPAC.

    Jls asked 10 months ago

    Property assessment values are determined by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) based on the current market value assessment.

    MPAC determines assessment for all property types and all municipalities in the province of Ontario. 

    The Current Value Assessment date is January 1, 2016, the previous date was January 1, 2012.  There was a scheduled Province-wide reassessment date of January 1, 2019 for taxation years beginning 2021; however due to the global pandemic this reassessment date was paused by the Province until at least the middle of 2022, with the earliest implementation date being for 2023 taxation year.  MPAC has continued creating assessments and completing reassessments when properties had alterations made, when sales occur or when new properties are built. 

    Property taxes are paid by property owners for services received such as roads maintenance, recreation programs,  and other costs of local government.

    Each year the City Council approves the City’s annual operating budget.  This is the amount of dollars that are required to provide hundreds of services our residents rely on.  To determine the amount of taxes that each property in the city contributes, the total annual operating budget minus other revenues sources is used.  This net amount to be raised through property taxes is then divided by the total assessment amount for all property classes.  This determines the residential tax rate.

    The tax bill is calculated by multiplying the tax rate against the assessed value of the home or property. 

    Therefore both the City budget amount and property assessment value both play a role in determining the amount of taxes paid by property owners. 

    In 2021, the median residential home has an assessed value of $254,000 and total 2021 taxes were $3,697.59.

    In addition to collecting its own property taxes, the City of St. Catharines is also responsible for the collection of tax dollars on behalf of Region of Niagara and School Boards, although the Region and Province set their own tax rates. 

    In 2021 the residential property tax bill was allocated as follows:

    • 45.1% to support services provided by the Niagara Region;
    • 42.9% to support City services;
    • 10.5% was remitted to the local school boards;
    • 0.9% to support the local hospital; and
    • 0.6% to support the City’s infrastructure levy to help in addressing the City’s infrastructure deficit
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    I don't support the use of municipal tax money to relocate the Private Watson memorial. I understand an estimate of $ 100,000 to relocate this memorial was presented to Council a few weeks ago. That's a lot of municipal tax money to spend to relocate a 135 year old statue that is in very poor condition, and thus will very likely be destroyed during the move. Does this Budget allocate money to relocate this memorial despite these concerns ?

    Dan007 asked 10 months ago

    Hey Dan,


    Thanks for the question.
    In response to a public petition and stakeholder consultation Council made the decision to move the statue in 2019, at an estimated cost of $70,000 plus HST. The decision was made in an effort to balance the preservation of history, while addressing the impacts of the statue's current prominence on members of the community. As of right now the final location has yet to be determined, we have however engaged the Niagara Military Museum. The Museum is interested in taking the monument as part of its collection and is currently seeking support from Veterans Affairs Canada to cover up to 50 per cent of the costs associated with relocation.
    We have worked with a conservator for a plan of relocation, and the conservator has indicated there is a high likelihood the monument can be moved with little to no damage, allowing it to serve as an educational tool for years to come.

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    If our Taxes cover - • Maintaining and enhancing the health and accessibility of our waterfront through the Waterfront Trail System, municipal beaches, rivers and creeks, the Welland Canal and old canal systems by working with Niagara Region, the NPCA and other community partners on improvement projects . Why are our parks , trails & 12 mile creek full of shopping carts , garbage & surreal amount of discarded needles ? The Feds & the Province have sent me responses that tell me it it the municipalities responsibility , yet some this stuff has littered our trails for several years now ?

    Katara asked 10 months ago

    Hello, thanks for reaching out with your question. There are several factors at play here. In terms of illegal dumping such as shopping carts and trash these are ultimately the responsibility of the Niagara Region and therefore do not impact the City budget. For more info visit https://www.niagararegion.ca/waste/

     

    In terms of needles and litter in City parks we do work to keep our public areas as clean as possible, within budgetary constraints. Needles on public property can be reported to City property. In terms of needles specifically in 2021 we spent roughly $150,000 on the Niagara Assertive Street Outreach program to actively engage with individuals living rough to reduce the number of needles discarded in public spaces. For 2022 the City is planning to spend $155,000 on the program. Individuals can report discarded needles for removal by calling Citizens First at 905.688.5600 to provide the specific location.

Page last updated: 18 Nov 2021, 06:02 AM