Budget Engagement 2022

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Welcome to the City of Niagara Falls 2022 Budget Engagement

** CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE 2022 BUDGET SURVEY **

The City of Niagara Falls invites all local residents and businesses to have your say in the 2022 municipal budget process! Your input will help our Mayor and Council understand public priorities on various services provided by the City, and will better inform Council's financial decisions.

Thank you for taking the time to be part of this process!

Introduction

Each year, the City of Niagara Falls undertakes an annual budget process to create budgets that support city operations and deliver the programs and services required to maintain the high quality of life we enjoy in our community.

The budget is made up of three parts:

  1. Operating Budget: Annual operations of city facilities and services, primarily funded through property taxes and user fees, excluding water and sewer.
  2. Water and Sewer Budget: Annual operations of water and sewer distribution, funded through user rates.
  3. Capital Budget: Capital program for all city projects, funded through taxes, water and sewer fees, development charges, debt, grants, or other reserve funds.

The Budget impacts you through the City programs and services you receive. Each time you have your road plowed, use a City park or trail, or cool off in a municipal pool or splash pad, you are seeing your tax dollars at work. The City strives to achieve a balance of services that improves our quality of life and supports our economy in a responsible manner.

Through the budget process, choices are made to ensure the City services provided to residents align with the priorities in the City of Niagara Falls 2019-2022 Strategic Priorities. The budget is the City's plan for the coming year, expressed in dollars.

The City is seeking the public's feedback for the upcoming 2022 budget. The budget is prepared by taking into consideration both this community input and direction from City Council. The staff proposed budget will then be taken to City Council for review and approval in November/December.

We want to hear from you!

From October 1st to October 29th, residents will learn how the budget process works, how tax dollars are used and the value tax dollars bring to Niagara Falls. The 2022 Budget hub on Let’s Talk Niagara Falls is a one-stop shop for the latest news, updates, and engagement opportunities relating to next year’s budget:

  • Engagement kicks off on October 1st, 2021 with an online survey.
  • Learn more about how the budget works, and how it impacts you.
  • Watch informative videos explaining the budget process, user fees and the infrastructure gap (coming soon)!
  • Use the Q&A to ask our Finance staff questions about the budget, and get their responses

Feedback will be received until Friday October 29th, and will be shared with City staff and Council as part of the 2022 City budget process.

How to have your say

Step 1: Review the details of the 2019-2022 Strategic Priorities to learn about the City's various areas of focus for the Council term.
Step 2: Improve your understanding of how the budget works, and how it impacts you through the budget boards and our informative videos.
Step 3: Complete the survey online (10-15 minutes) to tell us what you think about the City’s tax rates, services, user fees and more. If you need assistance accessing the survey, please contact the Finance Department at 905-356-7521 ext. 4289.

Your participation in this survey is voluntary. All individual responses are anonymous, will be kept confidential, and will only be used to summarize overall feedback received from the public.

The City thanks residents and businesses in advance for participating and providing feedback!


Welcome to the City of Niagara Falls 2022 Budget Engagement

** CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE 2022 BUDGET SURVEY **

The City of Niagara Falls invites all local residents and businesses to have your say in the 2022 municipal budget process! Your input will help our Mayor and Council understand public priorities on various services provided by the City, and will better inform Council's financial decisions.

Thank you for taking the time to be part of this process!

Introduction

Each year, the City of Niagara Falls undertakes an annual budget process to create budgets that support city operations and deliver the programs and services required to maintain the high quality of life we enjoy in our community.

The budget is made up of three parts:

  1. Operating Budget: Annual operations of city facilities and services, primarily funded through property taxes and user fees, excluding water and sewer.
  2. Water and Sewer Budget: Annual operations of water and sewer distribution, funded through user rates.
  3. Capital Budget: Capital program for all city projects, funded through taxes, water and sewer fees, development charges, debt, grants, or other reserve funds.

The Budget impacts you through the City programs and services you receive. Each time you have your road plowed, use a City park or trail, or cool off in a municipal pool or splash pad, you are seeing your tax dollars at work. The City strives to achieve a balance of services that improves our quality of life and supports our economy in a responsible manner.

Through the budget process, choices are made to ensure the City services provided to residents align with the priorities in the City of Niagara Falls 2019-2022 Strategic Priorities. The budget is the City's plan for the coming year, expressed in dollars.

The City is seeking the public's feedback for the upcoming 2022 budget. The budget is prepared by taking into consideration both this community input and direction from City Council. The staff proposed budget will then be taken to City Council for review and approval in November/December.

We want to hear from you!

From October 1st to October 29th, residents will learn how the budget process works, how tax dollars are used and the value tax dollars bring to Niagara Falls. The 2022 Budget hub on Let’s Talk Niagara Falls is a one-stop shop for the latest news, updates, and engagement opportunities relating to next year’s budget:

  • Engagement kicks off on October 1st, 2021 with an online survey.
  • Learn more about how the budget works, and how it impacts you.
  • Watch informative videos explaining the budget process, user fees and the infrastructure gap (coming soon)!
  • Use the Q&A to ask our Finance staff questions about the budget, and get their responses

Feedback will be received until Friday October 29th, and will be shared with City staff and Council as part of the 2022 City budget process.

How to have your say

Step 1: Review the details of the 2019-2022 Strategic Priorities to learn about the City's various areas of focus for the Council term.
Step 2: Improve your understanding of how the budget works, and how it impacts you through the budget boards and our informative videos.
Step 3: Complete the survey online (10-15 minutes) to tell us what you think about the City’s tax rates, services, user fees and more. If you need assistance accessing the survey, please contact the Finance Department at 905-356-7521 ext. 4289.

Your participation in this survey is voluntary. All individual responses are anonymous, will be kept confidential, and will only be used to summarize overall feedback received from the public.

The City thanks residents and businesses in advance for participating and providing feedback!


Budget 2022 Questions & Answers

Do you have a question about the 2022 Budget and how it will affect you? We're happy to answer your questions or provide clarification. Submit your question here, and a member from our Finance team will reply.

Note: Questions and Answers will be visible to the public. If you would like to connect with the project team privately, please email [email protected]. Please note, all public feedback, with the exception of personal information, will become part of the public record.

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    Can you please tell me what is done with the funds the City receives from the Casinos ?

    Kety1969 asked 12 days ago

    Great question!

    Since the introduction of the first casino in Niagara Falls (Casino Niagara), and with the subsequent addition of Fallsview Casino Resort, the City has received financial contributions based on the casino revenue generation from the Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corporation (OLG) under a Municipality Contribution Agreement (MCA). In 2013, the City of Niagara Falls actually approved a new agreement that significantly increased the City’s hosting fees! This funding has had a tremendous impact on our community.

    But, as we all know, the pandemic has effected everything, including the City’s casinos and the revenue they generate. So… we will have to answer your question about what is done with the OLG funding in two parts – how funding generated through OLG Municipal Contribution Agreement was allocated before the pandemic, and how it has been allocated during COVID. 

    Before COVID

    Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, when the casinos were operating at normal capacity, the City was receiving approximately $23 million in OLG revenue each year. In 2019, the budget allocation was as follows:

    General Operational Funding $5,895,000
    Funding a portion of city service operations, other than water and wastewater, building and parking. This allocation reduced the amount of property tax revenue to be generated.

    Niagara Regional Police Service (NRPS) Funding $4,200,000 
    Specifically funding the enhanced NRPS services required within the Fallsview Casino District as a result of hosting casinos in the City.

    Niagara Falls Ryerson Innovation Hub  $739,230
    Funding for the Niagara Falls Ryerson Innovation Hub. The NFRIH is a business incubator focused on growing digital products and services for entrepreneurs based in Niagara.

    Capital Projects $12,165,770
    Budgeted specifically to fund capital projects, some examples include park and trail improvements, vehicle purchases (ie. buses and fire trucks), facility repairs, and road and sidewalk replacements.   

    Related to capital projects, OLG funds were also directed as contributions to the Hospital Reserve Fund to purchase land for donation and meet the City’s financial obligations toward the construction of the new South Niagara Hospital at Montrose and Lyon’s Creek Roads.

    During COVID

    During the COVID-19 pandemic, the budget for OLG revenue was significantly reduced as the casinos were not operational for extended periods. As a result, the budget allocation of the funding was limited to:

    General Operational Funding $5,895,000
    Funding a portion of city service operations, other than water and wastewater, building and parking. This allocation reduced the amount of property tax revenue to be generated.

    Niagara Regional Police Service (NRPS), Niagara Falls Ryerson Innovation Hub (NFRIH), and capital projects received a budget allocation equal to zero.       

    Changes to the Funding Allocation Model

    On February 9, 2021 Council committed to a strategy of reducing the General Operational funding from OLG by 50% of the new taxation growth each year beginning in 2022.  This amount will be reallocated to capital investment.                             

    For example, if new taxation growth in 2022 is $900,000 then $450,000 of OLG revenue will be allocated from General Operational funding to capital investment. It will take just over 10 years to reduce the OLG General Operational funding to zero, removing OLG as a funding source for the general operating budget.               

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    Why does the City of Niagara Falls (re: Niagara Falls taxpayers)pay an extra fee for police services when "other levels" of government not have to pay for this service?

    sukhan asked 14 days ago

    Hi there, great question! The extra Niagara Regional Police Service (“NRPS”) Casino Patrol Unit (“CPU”) provides is not funded by property tax revenue generated from property tax payers of the City of Niagara Falls. The City funds the extra policing services using funds the City receives from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Commission (“OLG”) for hosting the casino. Below is a brief history of how the City became responsible for funding the extra NRPS service. 

    In 1996, as a result of the opening of Casino Niagara in Niagara Falls, the NRPS entered into an agreement with the Ontario Casino Corporation (“OCC”) to provide police services in the geographic area around the new Casino, and created the Casino Patrol Unit.  The CPU was directly funded each year by the OCC.  In 2004, the OLG opened Fallsview Casino in the City, and the NRPS increased police personnel in the unit.  In May 2013, when the direct funding formula for the CPU was recalculated to be based upon casino revenues, they changed the method of payment to fund the Niagara Regional Police Service (“NRPS”) Casino Patrol Unit to flow through the City  of Niagara Falls. 

Page last updated: 15 October 2021, 11:24