Local government | June 24, 2020
City Staff introduced the preliminary 2021 – 2024 Business Plan and 2021 Budget at today’s Budget Committee meeting.
An update regarding the impact of COVID-19 was included.
Seven Financial Recovery Principles are in place to provide guidance in making financial decisions throughout the pandemic recovery:
- Public Health is the first priority
- Preserve the long-term strength of the property tax base
- Comply with legislation
- Allow other levels of government time to fulfill their mandates
- Use reserves appropriately to manage financial challenges
- Deviation from the financial plan should not be permanent
- Assess approved and future budgets and business plans to reconfirm priorities, including service levels
“The City of Mississauga is facing huge financial impacts in 2020 and 2021 as a result of COVID-19,” said Mayor Crombie. “This is not business as usual and will force us to make some tough decisions. All cities, including Mississauga, need assistance from the federal and provincial governments to help us recoup the non-recoverable losses we are facing, that have put us in a $60M deficit to date. Cities are engines of the economy, but we lack the financial tools of other levels of government to weather a storm like COVID-19. We continue to deliver essential programs and services throughout recovery, including public transit to libraries, snow clearing and fire and emergency services and much more. Council will continue to work to ensure our residents can access quality services while keeping property taxes competitive, but without assistance, we will be forced to examine the services we deliver. As in previous years, there will continue to be several opportunities throughout the budgeting process for residents to get involved, have their voices heard and help shape the future of our city.”
Staff will continue to refine the budget and look for ways to trim the proposed increases. Early numbers show the equivalent of a 9.2 per cent budget increase to the City’s 2021 Operating Budget due primarily to a 5.7 per cent increase from the COVID-19 impacts on revenue and costs and a 2 per cent infrastructure levy to help the City maintain existing roads, bridges and buildings and plan for their upkeep in the future. Foregoing the 2 per cent infrastructure levy would result in a loss of $90 million in revenue over ten years, slowing the City’s ability to renew and build new infrastructure.
This would be the equivalent of a residential property tax increase of 3.24 per cent while businesses would see a 1.98 per cent increase on their bills for the city portion of the tax bill.
“Clearly this is not a normal Budget cycle for Mississauga and other communities across Canada,” said Gary Kent, Commissioner of Corporate Services and Chief Financial Officer. “While continuing to provide essential local services, an estimated deficit in 2020 of $100 million has been reduced to $60 million due to spending decisions made including temporary layoffs of over 2,000 part-time staff during the closure period, a hiring freeze, deferral of capital spending and a discretionary spending review. The Federal and Provincial Governments have not given any commitment to financial relief for municipalities and so cities across the country continue to wait to hear. Time is running out and now we need to face the “echo effects” into future years. For Mississauga, that is another $80 million over the next three years. In total, the COVID-19 pandemic is estimated to cost Mississauga taxpayers approximately $140 million. Even a well-run city like Mississauga does not have the fiscal firepower to fund this. Staff will continue to assess several options to address this deficit, using the strategies outlined in the Financial Recovery Plan, including deferral of master plan investments and no increased service levels. There is much more work to be done. Staff will continue to innovate with Council and with the public being fully engaged.”
For details, view the staff report, Update on the Financial Impacts of COVID-19.
The next Budget Committee meeting is on October 7, where staff will discuss Fees and Charges. Detailed discussions continue on November 23, 24, 30, December 1 and 2. Following committee discussions and public input, Council is scheduled to vote on the proposed budget on December 9.
Budget Committee meeting dates are subject to change.
Fees and Charges
- Wednesday, October 7 at 1:30 p.m.
Service Area Presentations
- Monday, November 23 at 9:30 a.m.
- Tuesday, November 24 at 9:30 a.m.
- Monday, November 30 at 9:30 a.m.
- Tuesday, December 1 at 9:30 a.m.
- Wednesday, December 2 at 1:30 p.m.
- Wednesday, December 9, 2020 at 9:30 a.m.
Visit mississauga.ca/budget to learn how the City invests your tax dollars to provide services or follow the conversation on social media using #SaugaBudget.