Kingston’s 2022 budget deliberations wrap up with 2.1% tax increase

After three days of meetings this week, Kingston council approved a 2.1 per cent budget increase for next year. Global News

Kingston city council wrapped up three days of budget deliberations Thursday night, giving next year’s tax increase of 2.1 per cent its first green light in the budget approval process.

Mayor Bryan Paterson characterized this year’s budget efforts as “heroic,” saying that somehow despite the challenges of the pandemic, staff were able to keep next year’s tax hike low.

Read more: Kingston councillors open 2022 budget discussions with projected 2.4% tax hike

“Moving into 2022, all the pandemic funding and support that we were getting from other levels of government is gone, and all of our revenues from transit and parking and recreation services are not back up to 100 per cent,” he said at council Thursday.

“We’re coming in with one of the lowest property tax increases of any city on this side of the province,” the mayor added.

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The tax increase will add an extra $75 increase to the average homeowner’s property tax bill in Kingston.

Click to play video: 'Kingston Police Services Board discusses 2022 budget issues' Kingston Police Services Board discusses 2022 budget issues
Kingston Police Services Board discusses 2022 budget issues – Sep 16, 2021

The initial budget drafted by city staff had recommended a 2.4 per cent property tax increase, but that was lowered to 2.1 per cent when council decided to remove a proposed hospital expansion grant from the budget.

Instead, a special one per cent levy over 10 years that is meant to cover the city’s $25 million contribution to the almost $1-billion project to expand and improve Kingston General Hospital will be added as a separate line on the tax bill and outside regular budget considerations. The extra tax, if approved, would add an additional $36 to what the average homeowner will pay next year.

If approved, in the end it will mean the average homeowner will pay approximately $110 more next year in municipal taxes, based on this year’s average residential tax bill of $3,603.

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The more than $408-million municipal operating budget will go to council for final bylaw approval on Dec. 21.

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