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City of Kingston: 2022 Budget ’embraces pandemic recovery’, delivery of services and programming

Kingston City Hall

Kingston City Council concluded budget deliberations on the evening of Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021, by approving the 2022 draft operating and capital budgets. These budgets will allow City staff to deliver quality services and programming to residents and to continue to invest in Council’s priority areas, according to a media release.

Council gathered around the virtual horseshoe for three consecutive nights to hear presentations from partner agencies and City departments and to deliberate on the 2022 operating and capital budgets. The result of these efforts is a financial plan that embraces continued pandemic recovery and the ongoing transition of City services to pre-pandemic levels, according to the release.

“While we continue to experience the impacts of the pandemic on our operating budgets, the approved 2022 operating and capital budgets will support the delivery of quality services and programming to our residents, and will advance all of Council’s strategic priorities,” said Desiree Kennedy, Chief Financial Officer and City Treasurer.  

Council voted to approve the 2022 operating and capital budgets. The City said that the 2022 operating budget of over $400 million provides for a municipal tax increase of 1.1 per cent, well below the current rate of inflation, plus 1 per cent incremental capital levy. The 1 per cent capital levy will contribute funding to a $70 million capital budget, allowing for continued investment in the City’s capital assets without the need for any additional debt, according to the release.

The 2022 municipal tax increase equates to a $75 impact on an average residential property, the City said. Final budget bylaws are scheduled to be presented to Council for three readings at the Dec. 21 Council meeting.

The City shared what’s included in the 2022 budgets:

  • Demonstrated leadership on climate action, including incremental costs to electrify bus replacements and the phase-in of a Green Standard Community Improvement Plan.
  • Increased housing affordability, including ongoing investment in affordable housing units, implementation of action items and recommendations coming out of the updated 10-year Housing and Homelessness Plan and the Mayor’s Task Force on Housing, and additional funds to support housing/rent supplement programs.
  • Improved walkability, roads and transportation, including expanded transit service in City’s west end and implementation of the red-light camera program.
  • Strengthening economic development opportunities, including investment in the expansion of employment lands inventory.
  • Fostering healthy citizens and vibrant spaces, including the opening of the new East End Community Centre, increasing daily hours of care for residents of Rideaucrest Home, funds to support the recruitment of family physicians, and the investment in the preservation of Kingston’s cultural heritage and a developing Indigenous initiatives portfolio.

The City said Council also approved a separate levy for hospital funding, equating to a 1 per cent increase for 2022 or a $36 impact to an average residential property. This levy will provide for an annual contribution of $2.5 million towards the Kingston Health Sciences Centre expansion, and renewal fundraising campaign over the next 10 years, according to the release.

In 2020, Council approved the removal of services managed by the County of Frontenac from the municipal budget estimates. The City’s share of these services will be funded as a separate component on the City’s property tax billing, based on the annual requisition received from the County.

Interested in more information?

“This is your budget, and it has been built taking into account your feedback,” said Kennedy. Earlier this year, the City asked for resident input to help shape the 2022 budgets. More than 500 people took the time to engage. Find out what City staff heard by watching this short video.

Review 2022 operating and capital budget documents on the City’s website and watch the livestream deliberations on the Kingston City Council YouTube channel.  

Ted Hsu for MPP
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