It’s budget time at the City of Barrie, which means it’s time for residents to share what’s important to them through the Budget Allocator tool. Residents can choose to increase, decrease or maintain budget spending for nine major service areas and leave comments about their choices.
The Budget Allocator includes a sample of the more than 60 services and programs provided by the City of Barrie, which range from public transit, curbside collection, and fire and emergency service to roads, parks, recreation and more. Through this tool, residents can learn more about each service area and how budgeting changes can impact service delivery.
Each year, staff work to balance the cost of providing these services with existing resources, while ensuring the City is investing in the infrastructure needed to support a growing city.
“This year, the City is facing additional budget pressures due to a number of funding and program changes introduced by the Provincial Government. These include funding cuts to public health and changes to the Development Charges Act. There is only one tax payer. When cuts happen at the Provincial level or services are downloaded to municipalities, local governments are left with the bill,” said Michael Prowse, City of Barrie CAO.
Ontario municipalities receive only 9 cents of every tax dollar raised in Ontario, while the Provincial and Federal governments receive 44 cents and 47 cents respectively. In contrast to this, municipalities own 57 per cent of the capital infrastructure, while the Provincial Government owns 41 per cent of infrastructure and the Federal Government only 2 per cent. The 2020 Budget will outline the City’s plan to make up for the provincial funding shortfalls to ensure vital front-line services are delivered while minimizing the impact to local tax payers. Residents are encouraged to share feedback about their priorities through the Budget Allocator tool.
The Budget Allocator is open until November 18, 2019. Results and comments will be shared with Council during the 2020 Business Plan & Budget deliberations, which will help provide insight into the public’s priorities. Subject to Council’s discussions, the budget is scheduled to be approved on December 9, 2019.
To share your feedback, visit buildingbarrie.ca.