2023 City Budget

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Thank you for your feedback! City Council approved the 2023 municipal operating and capital budget bylaws on March 21, 2023.

Banner image with the text Your Community, Your budget

City Council approved the 2023 municipal operating and capital budget bylaws on March 21, 2023.

The City of Kingston budget is more than just revenues and expenses. It is a strategic document that supports the City’s priorities, services, and programs. As a resident, the budget impacts You. Every. Single. Day.

Help shape the City of Kingston’s 2023 operating and capital budgets and inform the future of participatory budgeting in our community.

The City of Kingston invites residents to weigh in on service and program priorities, funding sources, and your vision for participatory budgeting.

About the City's budgets

Banner image with the text Your Community, Your budget

City Council approved the 2023 municipal operating and capital budget bylaws on March 21, 2023.

The City of Kingston budget is more than just revenues and expenses. It is a strategic document that supports the City’s priorities, services, and programs. As a resident, the budget impacts You. Every. Single. Day.

Help shape the City of Kingston’s 2023 operating and capital budgets and inform the future of participatory budgeting in our community.

The City of Kingston invites residents to weigh in on service and program priorities, funding sources, and your vision for participatory budgeting.

About the City's budgets

Discussions: All (3) Open (3)
  • Engagement summary

    over 1 year ago
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    Why we engaged

    The 2023 budget engagement plan was developed with the objectives of providing opportunity for greater discussion and consultation from an expanded and more diverse cross-section of the community. The scope of the 2023 budget engagement included expanded consultation on priorities highlighted from the 2021 and 2022 budget engagement processes, input on taxation, service levels and priorities, and a first look at how participatory budgeting could be utilized in the future.

    Group of four people pointing at board outside City HallGroup of older people standing around blue tent for engagement event

    How we engaged

    Public engagement opportunities were offered from April 27 to Sept. 7, 2022. To communicate engagement opportunities, a variety of communications tactics were used including: paid and organic social media campaigns, advertising on Spotify and traditional radio channels, news releases to local and regional media outlets resulting in earned media on Global Kingston and CBC Ontario Morning, email communications with community associations and news subscribers, and messages partnerships with local organizations including Lionhearts, Martha's Table, Chamber of Commerce, Kingston Frontenac Public Library and Kingston Immigration Partnership and Kingston Coalition for Active Transportation.

    Three easels with stickers and post-it notes attached underneath blue tent outside


    Activity overview

    • Get Involved Kingston survey and ideas tool: April 28-July 31, 2022
    • Budget talks with Tourism Kingston and Rideaucrest Home: May 25 and June 1, 2022
    • Spring into Summer pop-up: May 21, 2022
    • Seniors’ Centre pop-up: May 26, 2022
    • Night Market pop-up and dot-mocracy activity:  June 24, 2022
    • Online engagement participatory budgeting visioning session: Sept. 7, 2022

    Who we heard from

    • 1,295 visitors to Get Involved Kingston
    • 167 participants created a Get Involved Kingston account to offer feedback
    • 451 participants completed surveys
    • 10 ideas were submitted to Get Involved Kingston

    Community budget easel with green and red stickers

    Second community budget easel with green and red stickersSuggestion board with various post-it notes attached

    Next steps

    Survey results and other engagement input were collated and forwarded to the respective departments/agencies for review and for consideration in developing the 2023 estimates and multi-year budget projections. The 2023 municipal budget will be deliberated by Council in early 2023.

    Engagement event with blue tent and pull-up banner outside City Hall


  • Survey results

    over 1 year ago
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    If you require information in an alternate format, please call 613-546-0000. We will work with you to understand your specific information and accessibility needs and to provide for them within a reasonable timeframe.

    Get Involved Kingston Engagement Survey Results:

    Project Highlights Table. 1,295 total visits, 167 new registrations, 451 residents participated in the survey, and 10 contributed to ideas

    Question 1:

    The City has a number of options when balancing the budget. Please indicate which of the following statements comes closest to capturing your point of view.


    Table and pie chart indicating percentage of participants for each response to question 1

    Question 2:

    A user fee is a charge that an individual pays to access a specific service. Most services that have user fees associated with them, such as recreational programming and transit, are also subsidized by tax revenues. The following services are supported by both user fees and taxation. Please identify whether you would support an increase in user fees if this meant a reduction in the level of support from property taxes.

    Table and chart showing how many participants support, do not support or are undecided on raising service fees.

    Question 3:

    Thinking about the importance of the services and programs that are provided to you and to the community, please tell us if the City should increase, decrease or maintain its budget investment in the following programs and services:

    Table showing responses to maintain, decrease, or increase budget investment in various programs

    Chart showing funding of programs and services referencing the table above.

    Question 4:

    Have you ever been involved in a Participatory Budgeting Process? 

    Pie chart showing that 95% of participants have not been involved in a participatory budgeting process.

    Question 5:

    What experience do you have in participatory budgeting?

    Table showcasing what experience 5% of residents have with participatory budgeting 

    Question 6:

    What resources and/or support do you think would be helpful in developing and implementing a participatory budgeting exercise for the City of Kingston?

    Table and chart beneath it showing responses to question 6.


    Question 7:

    Would you be interested in taking part in a participatory budgeting exercise such as an exercise to allocate a predetermined amount of money towards:

    Table and graphs showing participant interest in participatory budgeting for various projects and initiatives. 

    Question 8:

    Any group?

    Pie chart relating to the question above, but with different age groups instead.

    Question 9:

    How would you describe your personal situation?

    Table and graph showing personal situation of participants from homeowners to business owners.


    Question 10:

    How familiar are you with how the City develops the annual budget?

     Table and pie chart asking residents to describe how familiar they were with annual budget development

    Question 11: 

    How familiar are you with the services and programs funded by the City’s annual budgets? 

    Table and pie chart showing how familiar residents are with services and programs funded by the City's annual budgets


  • What we heard

    over 1 year ago
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    What we heard

    The following are a list of verbatim comments submitted by registered Get Involved Kingston participants during the 2023 survey and virtual budget engagements. Feedback that did not follow the City of Kingston's Guidelines for Participation was omitted from the feedback.  

    Question 1: Is there a type of participatory budgeting not listed above that the City should consider when developing its participatory budgeting framework? Finish the sentence:  The City should hold an exercise to allocate:

    • Bicycle infrastructure, to include safety improvements to increase ridership and rethinking how people move about. 
    • Vans instead of buses on smaller routes, I regularly see an empty bus on the west end #15, if it never is getting full it should be scaled down on size to save the city fuel. Ottawa has according and double deckers and full-size buses. Kingston is a smaller city and could have full size vans or mini buses for smaller routes. Transit should be scalable; not one size fits all, that thinking is wasteful. 
    • Family doctor shortage.  Housing-family oriented housing/neighborhoods vs Toronto landlords/Toronto property managers rentals fast bucks i.e. Ruskin St. grey buildings. 
    • A budget towards a committee to revamp garbage pickup and container design. 
    • A fixed level of funds instead of always increasing taxes. It's the only way Council will ever say no to demands for more services. 
    • A new taxi commission 
    • A percentage of a predetermined amount of money to engage students at all age levels in any initiative geared to physical and mental well-being. 
    • A percentage of funding approved for police to instead be diverted to social services.
    • A predetermined amount of money across all strategic priorities, as a way for citizens and government to align on prioritization and difficult decision making when funds are constrained (rather than assuming funds are unlimited and looking at individual projects in isolation.)
    • A predetermined amount of money to advance a project specific to indoor low impact physical activities for seniors in the east end of Kingston (for example a new aquatic centre)
    • A predetermined amount of money to advance an at home composting system and corresponding education program to reduce household waste and streamline green bin services.
    • A predetermined amount of money to fund youth programs (run by professionals and specialists, not cops) for kids who have engaged in crime
    • A predetermined amount of money to repairing and replacing roads and sidewalks.
    • A predetermined amount of money to set stricter requirements on new subdivision developers to support access to enhanced green spaces (for example: walkways & cycling paths apart from roadways).
    • A predetermined amount of money to undertake an initiative to bring in more immigrants to the city.
    • A predetermined amount of money towards cycling infrastructure in the city.
    • A recurring budget to develop and/or improve active and public transportation networks, including multi-use paths, protected bike lanes, and public transportation as viable alternatives to car transit throughout the built up portions of the City.
    • Action a solution to Queen's Student Parties and the near campus issues (per 6 option 4)
    • Addressing the geographic concentration of city of Kingston resources, and underserviced areas, i.e., the west end.
    • Affordable housing
    • Affordable Housing and more strategic Police presence at The Hub as as well as Downtown Kingston. Also more addiction and mental health outreach programs for those who have to live outside! I am disgusted with Kingston! And it's lack of much lyrics needed practical help for the unhoused disabled! You should not be allocating and money towards fixing public spaces for them. They need to be housed first! Why are you all getting fat with money and greed while there are fellow adult human beings sleeping outside! This is absolutely atrocious and not acceptable.  Do better Mayor of Kingston!  
    • Affordable Housing, Living Wage Subsidy or Benefit
    • All funding for school buses should be cut. I have lived in Toronto and Winnipeg and the only kids bussed to school are those with a physical handicap. There is no need to have school buses in Kingston.
    • Allow veterans to determine certain benefits (e.g. free bus rides, parking meter exemptions for veteran plates etc.)
    • An exercise to allocate a predetermined amount of money to undertake an initiative and/or help address road construction matters
    • As few funds as possible to the Police.
    • Better city planning to make roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists and address the city’s bike theft issues.
    • Bike lanes
    • Biking, walkability, improvement of transit, reducing cars, reducing traffic and noise pollution, improving the beauty of our city
    • Budgeting for a comprehensive active transportation network.  A comprehensive bike sharing system with docks, not drop/dumpster bikes.
    • Can't think of any, seems to be pretty well included in the main things
    • Child care funding. Implementation of the $10 per day day care
    • Citizen approved ceilings for Development; Heritage concerns and requirements for an urban area to retain its status as a haven of history; and Staff and Council resume requirements regarding courses in Civics and Ethics and salary grids
    • City budget allotments for dealing with homeless and low income housing and housing for people with on ODSP
    • City needs more family doctors. Create incentives for new doctors to set up practice in Kingston. Set up community clinics. If they live here for 5 years they will never leave.  
    • Conduct a survey asking ratepayers their priorities as to where the city should focus their efforts and our tax dollars in providing basic essential services. This survey reflects what city managers want the city to focus on.
    • Councillor and mayor compensation increases.  This should be a referendum item but now that it has been self-voted on and approved by yourselves you are now forcing tax paying citizens to make sacrifices so you can receive your own voted pay raises.   Why should everyone else suffer so that you can enrich yourselves?  Why should our sidewalks be dangerous to people with mobility challenges because your pay increases are more important?  Why should roadway eruptions that are dangerous to personal vehicles be allowed to continue for weeks because your personal pay increases are more important?  Why do you mail interim property tax notices for Feb two weeks before payment is due when you know in July of the previous year exactly how much the 50% to be paid in next year's Feb tax payment is?  Are you incompetent?  Stoned?  Are you just trying to find every possible way to justify property tax increase without reducing your own circumstances because your decisions do NOT represent the entire Kingston area.  All spending and service efforts are focused only on one area of the town.
    • Daycare support.
    • Do not feel qualified to answer this. My biggest concern is preventing the continued development of high rise buildings and increasing housing density using by building low-rise building as is done in Streetsville Ontario, Le Plateau in Montréal and most European cities. Tourists and Film Makers do not come here to see high rises.
    • Dog parks like the one in Ottawa (Bruce Pit) or in the Gatineau (Boucher Forest dog walk).
    • Education, police, fire, utilities
    • Elected councillors to do the job they are elected to do and undertake the difficult work of preparing a budget.
    • Environmental programs, e.g., banning plastic bags in stores, and other single use plastics.
    • Family supports such as park infrastructure and availability of public spaces for children and families.
    • For the expansion of the airport
    • Fund to look into affordable, appropriate, suitable housing for seniors. With the number of baby boomers reaching senior status, the City could/should into a partnership with developers to create the type of housing where still active seniors could live in communal type housing where they remain independent but could support each other so they remain independent, less isolated and lonely. These will be affordable rented units (not owned, because if an owner dies then issues arise because heirs want to sell as they want their inheritance and this causes stress for the other seniors left if the place is jointly owned) where each senior will be independent but can jointly socialize and help each other out. They will be less isolated and help each other out as necessary in terms of checking in if someone is sick, needs groceries etc. This will help them to remain in their home much longer and not have to move to expensive retirement homes and even nursing homes. Right now the City is building so many houses/homes but this idea of a seniors' communal home idea has never been part of the City's agenda. Could it?
    • Funding for active transportation and road safety improvements.
    • Funding for infrastructure - specifically road repair, and road widening to allow for bike use. Allow citizens to decide specific funding priorities for road maintenance.
    • Funding for police and fire services.
    • Funding for the development of affordable housing, especially in the student housing district.
    • Funding to childcare with input from all centres providing the service
    • Funding to enforce the quality of private road work/ impact to bike lanes from private construction
    • Funding to investigate the best way to serve those at the ICH to reduce the amount of repeat clients and address the rampant drug problem we have.  
    • Funds across the range of municipal budget categories.
    • Funds between operating and capital priorities
    • Funds for an alternative to the inflated police budget (i.e., what could we fund if we had less police cars sitting in the Loblaws parking lot?) Basically what services could be funded/better funded to take responsibility for current police duties that they are unqualified to deal with (like mental health emergencies).
    • Funds for increasing mental health and addiction services (in cooperation with the province and federal governments)
    • Funds for mental health initiatives
    • Funds for tenant-initiated property standards enforcement, and for investment in public housing.
    • Funds for the issues surrounding mental health and strategies to address.
    • Funds for the public to participate in the budgeting process for Social Services programs such as Ontario Works, welfare etc. How many people are on these programs and for how long? These handouts are not meant for long term. Put money into retraining for them to get into the work force.
    • Funds to assist the downtown homeless/drug addicted/mentally ill find solutions to their challenges.
    • Funds to cycling infrastructure.
    • Funds to encourage more balanced partnerships with Queens, SLC and RMC.   These communities impact our city and certain neighbourhoods disproportionately.  And we need to find better ways to co-exist.
    • Funds to get City of Kingston Roads back into a state of being safe to drive on!! My biggest issue with this City is the lack of repair and or repaving which is so far been let go for the last 4 years!!!
    • Funds to help seniors get enough access to food, safe computer use. Opportunity to help provide food too seniors on a very tight budget. E.g.: Ontario works, disability and pensioners in the community.
    • Funds to road work, setting priorities for complete repair and resurfacing
    • Funds to social services
    • Funds to social services from a reduction in the police budget
    • Funds towards a sidewalk on Lakeview Ave as its on a bus route and there is currently no sidewalk on 1 section of the street making it very dangerous
    • Funds towards decreasing dependence on cars (public transportation, safe bike lanes you'd trust a 10 year old to use, reducing bike theft, mixed-use residential zoning with stores/offices at street level outside of the downtown core).
    • Funds towards festivals and cultural events
    • Funds towards subsidizing entrepreneurship initiatives for people currently on Social Assistance.
    • Funds used to ensure its most valuable tourism asset, the downtown core, is well maintained. Florals, seating, garbage management, enforcement of aggressive driving, and safety, are all in dire need of municipal funds.
    • Have no idea what participatory budget is.
    • Health care availability
    • Homelessness and addiction
    • Homelessness.
    • Housing and homelessness funding
    • How to spend money
    • I can’t finish the sentence because the questions in item 7 are much too vague.  I think PB works best applied to capital spending, but “programs”, “projects” and “initiatives” generally turn into capital spending anyway…what’s the difference?  The PB ballot should list a reasonable number of very specific improvements, with the cost of each, that residents have suggested.
    • I would need to consider the costs of running such a participatory meeting
    • Ideas on how to avoid raising taxes above rate of inflation.
    • Improving green space and multi-use trail network
    • Improving the automobile access to the downtown.
    • Industrial or Commercial business infrastructure project or program
    • It is addressed in the "five strategic priorities" - but transportation and urban design should be top priorities for Kingston's budget since designing effective cities (those that are walkable, pleasant to be in, and easy to get around) is complicated and potentially expensive
    • It will be helpful to understand the overhead and the actual spending on a budgetary item and how to reduce the former and strengthen the later.
    • Just more bottom’s up engagement in our communities, and democracy, and being parts of solutions, but I think you endeavour very well!
    • Meaningful aspects of its budget, rather than one-time grant initiatives.
    • Mental health & Seniors
    • Mental health emergencies
    • Mental health, addiction, and homeless supports
    • Money and resources to better roads both in the old city and elsewhere.  Some roads are not just horrifically rough but present safety issues.  I know of a person who had a wheel shatter on a pothole in downtown Kingston and the vehicle swerved over a sidewalk and hit a house, thankfully at a low speed.
    • Money for social housing
    • Money from the police towards mental health, affordable housing, and drug care projects.
    • Money spent on promoting itself as opposed to informing citizens
    • Money to a comprehensive transit strategy for the city
    • Money to groups that support minorities like the Roots and Wings organization.
    • Money to police and bylaw officers.
    • Money to save green spaces from development.
    • Money towards fixing road and cycling infrastructure
    • Money towards seniors who are at risk of losing their homes due to substantial increase in property taxes and utilities costs.
    • Monies saved from decreasing and demilitarizing the police, monies acquired through increased taxation of businesses, industries and landlords.
    • More funding towards health and mental needs of the community.
    • More funds and extremely violent police to get rid of all the open drug markets throughout the city!  I am sick and tired of being downtown with my family seeing crackheads being giant assholes (accosting innocent people, often tourists), and the Kingston police doing nothing to stop this obnoxious, unsafe, assaultive behaviour !!!!!
    • More funds to ambulances.  We need more ambulances in Kingston and we allocate way too much towards fire emergency services.  Fire dispatchers make remarkably more than ambulance dispatchers and do a small fraction of calls in comparison.  I would love to see the city look at and compare the need for EMS vs fire and see where funds can be relocated.
    • More money to roads and infrastructure
    • More resources for mental health, addiction, and housing
    • More sports facilities especially in the east end.
    • More towards the Better Homes initiative. The qualifying household income is not realistic with today’s market. It is too low.
    • Needed Increase of ambulance service if approved by county of Frontenac
    • No comment at this point
    • Noise bylaw for residential areas is almost nonexistent, not protective, needs to be updated and re-enforced by knowledgeable officers when we need them instead of ignoring us.
    • Perhaps any explanation of what Participatory budgeting actually Is, prior to making questions about it (#5) mandatory.
    • Please fix roads and improve the budget to snow clearing. As a first responder there is nothing more frustrating than seeing no plows early in the morning after a major snow fall. House and rent need to be affordable. Do something about it. Also winter street parking should be allowed. Kingston needs to stop being lazy and 24hrs before they bare to do snow cleaning can put a few signs on the ground. I’m not fortunate enough to own a 2 lane drive way. Also I don’t need Kingston telling me when I can and cannot water my own lawn
    • Police and bylaw budgetary funds
    • Priorities and weighting to the various fields receiving funding and budget consideration.
    • Reallocate* funds from some departments to others and map out how it could affect funds needed over next 3, 5, 10 etc. years
    • Redoing the lines on the roads more often
    • Reduce hate against other people and groups
    • Reducing the number of newly built houses and reduce the radon gas issue here in Kingston
    • Remind council and staff we hire them to do this work, and stop asking non-experts for their uneducated opinions
    • Residents are already paying the salary of their representatives
    • Resources from the Kingston police department into the development of non-lethal response teams for traffic, mental health responses, and drug related situations.
    • Responsibility for spending too much money and not feeling guilty about it.
    • Road development, urban planning, traffic flow, sidewalks and permanent protected bike lanes
    • Road Maintenance
    • Road/sidewalk repair and clearing
    • The above seem pretty comprehensive
    • The amount of money allocated to the environmental initiatives is being somewhat diluted by not protect the current trees in specific environmental areas .The current tree cutting by laws does not provide adequate protection for green spaces and development areas, the tree canopy is being cut by developers with little if any real control on them. So the big splashy environmental plans and the taxpayer monies being spent on them is really wasted by the lack of control on tree cutting. The current tree cutting bylaw needs urgent updating to be in line with the other environmental plans. Note trees be kept has great environmental impact for cooling etc. and virtually no cost!!  
    • The city should be mindful in soliciting opinions mainly from this who have the requisite expertise, as sometimes soliciting opinions from the loudest/least informed can lead to inefficient allocation of resources in the community.
    • The scope of the municipal budget and the role of city government, and the fixed predetermined amount per year for debt interest payment
    • To determine the taxation allocation base provided by business and by residential property owners with a view to equalization.
    • To reduce the number of homeless, vagrants and the mentally ill/drug addled who have come to dominate the downtown.
    • Waste disposal
    • We elect council, and pay staff, to do budgeting.  It is irresponsible that you are downloading it on to citizens, so you can use them as scapegoats at election time.
    • We would need to have a good understanding of current allocation and relative outputs/results in order to comment on future capital spending.
    • What incentives are offered to real estate developers, e.g., tax or other financial breaks for development, and compensation from the developers in the form of ironclad agreements to include affordable housing in their building mix
    • Where road repairs are completed
    • Would be interesting to do some zero based budgeting with the police and other support services in order to work on defunding the police and reorienting funds to more effective services for crisis intervention and addiction
    • You are all awesome :)