How does the City fund its operating and capital budgets?

    Property taxes and other revenue sources such as user fees fund the City’s operating budget. A component of the operating budget is transferred to the capital reserve funds to be used for capital spending and debt related charges.

    [Headline] How a City funds its operating and capital budgets  [Flow Chart] Tax levy and other revenue sources directs to operating budget. Operating budget flows to capital reserve funds. Reserve funds directs to Capital expenditures (pay as you go) and Capital expenditures (debt charges).

    What are reserves and reserve funds?

    Reserves and reserve funds are monies set aside to fund capital expenditures similar to having personal savings accounts. They are also used to manage unanticipated expenses and to support the City’s long-term financial stability.

    What is the 1 per cent capital levy?

    The City has earmarked a 1 per cent annual tax increase to raise funds to support capital infrastructure.  This annual levy is transferred into the capital reserve funds each year.  This 1 per cent capital levy is part of longer term strategies for responsible asset management. It:

    • supports an increased level of investment in infrastructure, 
    • ensures the sustainability of the City’s capital infrastructure, and
    • reduces the City’s reliance on long-term debt.

    What is long-term debt and how is it used?

    The City uses long-term debt to fund larger capital expenditures. It is similar to a homeowner’s mortgage and is repaid over time through payments which include interest. Long-term debt charges are paid for from the capital reserve funds.

    How is the City spending my property tax dollars?

    There are more than 70 public services that are funded through the budget, from public safety (fire and police) to transportation services, like roads, sidewalks, pathways and trails, and transit, to community services such as parks and recreation, arts and culture, libraries, social services, and planning and development. 

    Learn more about the 2022 budgets by consulting the City’s budget overviews and watching budget deliberations

    What are Council’s Priorities for the 2024 Budget?

    Budgets are developed based on Council's direction for providing municipal services to the community every day. They also support the strategic priorities as set by Council: 

    Kingston's Mayor and City Council have established the Strategic Plan for the City of Kingston for 2023-2026.

    The five pillars of the plan are:

    • Support Housing Affordability
    • Lead Environmental Stewardship and Climate Action
    • Build an Active and Connected Community
    • Foster a Caring and Inclusive Community
    • Drive Inclusive Economic Growth

    View the Kingston Strategic Plan 2023-2026 and implementation plan