Niagara Regional Council approves 2024 Budget

Niagara Region’s 2024 Budget process is now complete following last night’s Regional Council meeting. The budget continues to support and invest in the programs and services Niagara residents rely on every day. For 2024, the portion of the General Levy to support Niagara Region operations, Niagara’s agencies, boards and commissions, including Niagara Regional Police, will increase by 3.72 per cent.

In addition to these operating costs, the 2024 General Levy is required to accommodate critical investments in, historically underfunded, infrastructure renewal throughout Niagara Region with a 1.5 per cent increase dedicated to capital project financing.

Finally, an additional 1.8 per cent increase was required to accommodate for the financial impacts of provincial policy under Bill 23, which required municipalities to provide development charge exemptions.

In total, Council approved the General Levy budget with an increase of $38.6 million in 2024 equaling a 7.02 per cent property tax increase on the Regional portion of the tax bill.

For the average property assessed at $298,000, the Regional portion of the tax bill will increase by $131 totalling $1,989 in 2024. This portion of the tax bill touches the lives of Niagara residents in many ways such as supporting our seniors and vulnerable populations, maintaining our existing capital infrastructure, and affordable housing.

The General Levy 2024 budget includes: the operating budget for Regional departments, Niagara Regional Police Service, Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority, Niagara Regional Housing and Court Services as well as the consolidated Capital Budget.

General Levy

Part of the 2024 Budget process involved a thorough review of Regional operations that ensured the delivery of sustainable and affordable services at a time when demand for these services is increasing. This work resulted in Regional departments year-over-year operating costs coming in below the rate of inflation. Highlights of the budget include investments and pressures such as:

  • $8.6 million to replace provincially regulated development charge revenue losses needed to pay for housing-enabling infrastructure (Bill 23)
  • $6.7 million increase to support infrastructure for Regional departments and agencies, boards and commissions
  • $4.1 million in homelessness system stabilization (shelter outreach and support)
  • $2.7 million for development charge and tax increment grants
  • $2.2 million for housing provider operating subsidies  

The Operating budget results in a tax levy of $483 million, which funds the daily business of the Niagara Region, its agencies, boards and commissions.

“As Niagara Regional Chair, I understand the concerns of our community amidst these tough financial conditions. The 2024 Regional Budget reflects Council’s need to maintain good public programs and services, while also managing several external pressures, including global inflation and changing provincial policy, both of which complicated our deliberations. I believe that the budget we passed last night navigated these difficulties collaboratively, prioritizing the well-being of our residents and ensuring a resilient future for the Niagara Region. Finally, I want to express my gratitude to Mayor Redekop for his outstanding leadership as the budget chair and commend our dedicated staff for their tireless efforts in addressing the complexities of the challenging 2024 Regional Budget.” 

Jim Bradley, Regional Chair, Niagara Region

Capital

In July 2023, Council approved its 2023-2026 Council Strategic Priorities. Capital items in the 2024 Budget reflect Council’s priorities and supports a $270.3 million Capital budget. Seventy per cent of the $270.3 million Capital budgets will be dedicated to renewing existing infrastructure across the Region. In addition, incremental investments are being made to enhance affordable and supportive housing options.

Some of the major projects include:

  • $17.2 million annual Capital investments in sustaining affordable housing units  
  • $15.8 million replace 40 conventional buses
  • $13.9 million Phase One Geneva Street Development Bridge/Supportive Housing
  • $12 million annual roads resurfacing
  • $4 million Stanley Avenue Bridge Structural Rehabilitation

Learn about the 2024 Budget, including a breakdown of the budget process, or call 905-980-6000 to speak with someone directly. 

“The 2024 Budget reflects the ongoing cost pressures faced by local government in a number of respects.  With this year’s budget, Council has been challenged to strike a balance between fiscal restraint, sustaining operations, continuing to position the Region for growth and affordability issues facing residents. I believe that the 2024 Budget addresses each of these and signifies Council’s commitment to its top priorities while still maintaining services for the residents of Niagara.”

Wayne Redekop, Regional Councillor and Budget Chair

Leave a Reply