How does the budget affect me?

by Erin Haase,

Part of the budget process includes setting the City's user fees and charges for the coming period. These fees may be charged when someone uses a service from the City such as recreation registration, facility rentals, cemetery services, permits and fines.

User fees and charges don't cover all of the City's costs though, and the difference is made up by the tax levy. This is the amount of money that we raise for the year through the City's portion of the property tax bill. Property taxes pay for services where it wouldn't be practical to charge individual users each time they use the service (e.g. roadways, sidewalks and parks).

Property taxes may also be used in some cases to subsidize the cost of a service to keep it affordable for the community who uses the service (e.g. arenas and pools) and in cases where it is an investment in the City's economic growth (e.g. external funding, economic development).

There are two main bills that property owners receive from the City of Cambridge; these are your property tax bill and your water utility bill.

Your tax bill includes a city portion, region portion and school board portion. Of the money collected through the tax bill, the City receives 36 per cent.

Your water bill includes a city portion and region portion. The Region of Waterloo is responsible for water and wastewater treatment, while the City is responsible for the water and sewer networks. Of the money collected through the water bill, the city receives 59 percent.

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