The 2021 Budget will be difficult considering the financial unknowns from COVID-19. As a city, we are not allowed to budget for a deficit. This makes it more important than ever that you share your priorities with us as the city develops the budget.
Last week, I hosted a virtual 2021 Budget Consultation with city staff and west end Council colleagues Glen Gower and Allan Hubley. It was great to have so many residents join our virtual discussion to provide their feedback and share their concerns. If you missed it, you can view the discussion here.
Almost 500 residents took the opportunity to fill out the West-End 2021 Budget survey, which was created by Councillors Gower, Hubley, and myself to gain a better understanding of what our community wants to achieve in this budget.
Residents shared their concerns with the upcoming budget, specifically around community services and future transit plans. The pandemic has changed the need for certain city services. It is our job to address and understand the needs of all residents. I am working hard on your behalf to help develop a budget that maximizes the value of your tax dollars.
Here are the key highlights from the survey:
- 43% of residents believe property taxes are about at the right levels.
- Most residents believe that the city’s approach to increase taxes roughly at the rate of inflation is the right method.
- The top 3 areas residents want to see more investment in are:
- Roads and pathway maintenance
- Community facilities and parks
- Emergency services (by-law, fire, paramedics)
The draft budget will be tabled at City Council on November 4. Each committee will review the budget where residents will have the opportunity to provide their feedback and concerns. You can find the committee dates here. The budget will be debated by Council on December 9.
Please reach out with any feedback or concerns you may have: Jenna.Sudds@ottawa.ca.