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Budget 101​​

The annual Business Plan & Budget outlines how the City plans to allocate resources to deliver the programs and services residents and businesses rely on every day.

Council approved 2022 ​budget below rate of inflation​ 

Council approved a 2022 tax increase of 2.94%, which is below the rate of inflation. The operating budget of $392 million will deliver city services, and a capital budget of $346 million will be used to continue replacing and building more of Barrie’s roads, pipes and buildings. Full details​.

​Balancing the Bud​get​

The City is required by provincial law to balance its operating and capital budgets each year. Simply put, the money raised must balance the money spent. To balance the budget, the City can either:

  • Increase its revenue stream through raised property taxes and fees; or
  • Manage expenses through adapting or reducing the cost of programs and services

Operating Budget

How Money is Raised How Money is Spent

Money is raised in two streams:

Tax rate: funded primarily through property taxes, user fees and reserves

User rate: funded primarily from reserve funds and user fees which are intended to make the programs and services self-sustaining. These include parking, water and wastewater.

Money is spent on day-to-day expenses for program and service delivery including:

Capital Budget

How Money is RaisedHow Money is Spent

Money is raised through a combination of property taxes, development charges, debt issuance, grants and reserves.

Money is spent on capital projects designed to create, enhance or restore the service potential of the City’s significant network of assets, which include infrastructure (roads, bridges, buildings etc.), land, equipment and vehicles.

Budget Drivers

Annual Budget Drivers

Similar to a personal or household budget, the City’s budget is affected by factors beyond our control that impact the cost of a program or service:

Increasing Utility & Material Costs

Like a resident, the City’s utilities (gas, hydro) and materials costs increase every year. While the City works hard to find efficiencies that reduce the impact of these increases, they do effect property taxes if the City is to maintain the existing service levels provided to residents.

Service Partner & Education costs

There is only one property tax bill. Of the residential property tax bill:

Infrastructure Gap

Like most municipalities, Barrie has a significant gap between the amount of money available each year to maintain its infrastructure and the amount of money needed to ensure infrastructure remains in a state of good repair.

That’s why the City created a Dedicated Infrastructure Renewal Fund that’s used only for the replacement and rehabilitation of Barrie’s roads, bridges, buildings and other infrastructure.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where does the City’s money come from?

The majority comes from residential and commercial property taxes. Other sources of revenue include user fees, Development Charges (capital budget), grants & subsidies from other levels of government and contributions from reserves.

Where does the City’s money go?

Of Barrie's 2019 residential property tax bill:

  • 55% funds City services
  • 13% funds education, as mandated by the Province
  • 32% funds the City’s service partners such as the Barrie Police, Public Library and services delivered by the County of Simcoe such as Land Ambulance and Social Services.
What are ‘reserves’ and ‘reserve funds’?

Similar to savings accounts, reserves and reserve funds receive regular (annual) contributions as part of the budget process. They are a critical component of the City’s long-range financial plan as they strengthen our financial sustainability, help to minimize fluctuations in the tax rate, provide funding for infrastructure and provide the flexibility to manage debt within the City’s Debt Policy.

A reserve is established by Council for a specific purpose but the funds do not relate to any particular asset and there is no requirement for the reserves to earn interest. Reserves are created either through a planned contribution established in the budget process or through the transfer of unspent funds at the end of a year. Any transfer of unspent funds at year end must be authorized by Council.

A reserve fund is similar to a reserve except that the reserve fund assets are segregated and restricted to meet the purpose of the reserve fund. There are two types of reserve funds; obligatory and discretionary reserve funds. Obligatory reserve funds must be created whenever a statute or legislation requires funds received for special purposes be segregated from the general revenues of the municipality i.e. Development Charges. Discretionary reserve funds are established through a by-law of Council for a specific purpose. Investment income generated by reserve funds must be accumulated in the reserve fund and accounted for as part of it.


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