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How the City Budget Works

The City of North Bay prepares its budget annually to ensure adequate funding is available for essential operations and the delivery of programs and services. The annual budget is divided into the following segments.

  • Operating Budget: Addresses day-to-day needs for services like recreation, parks maintenance, landfill, roads, garbage collection, transit, marina, and fire services. The operating budget is primarily funded through property taxes and user fees, excluding water and sewer.
  • Capital Budget: Allocates funds for the purchase, construction, repair, and/or renewal of key assets  such as roads, bridges, equipment, community centers, and major infrastructure projects. The Capital budget is funded through taxes, water and sewer fees, development charges, debt, grants, or other reserve funds.
  • Water and Wastewater Budget: Ensures sustainable water services, maintaining infrastructure like water pipes, and supporting the wastewater treatment plant. The water and wastewater budget is funded through user rates.

Balancing the Budget

In compliance with provincial law, the City has to make sure it doesn't plan to spend more money than it brings in. To do this, it can either get more money by raising property taxes and fees, or it can cut back on spending by adjusting or reducing the costs of its programs and services.

Cost Pressures: What Influences the Budget?

Similar to managing a personal or household budget, the City's budget is impacted by factors beyond the City's control that affect the cost of programs and services. 

Much like residents, the City faces increases in utility (gas, hydro) and material costs. While the City actively seeks efficiencies to offset these escalations, they do impact property taxes if the City is to maintain the current service levels provided to residents.

In addition to City services, the municipal budget allocates funds to Service Partners, including the District of Nipissing Social Service Administration Board, North Bay Public Library, North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority, Cassellholme Home for the Aged, North Bay Capitol Centre, North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit, and North Bay Police Services.

It's important to recognize that legislative requirements govern the City's funding requirements for various Service Partners.  Therefore, City Council has limited control over spending requests from certain service partners. These partners do not directly report to City Council; instead, Council holds representation on the governance bodies to which they report.

Like many municipalities, there is a shortfall in North Bay between the annual budget allocated for infrastructure maintenance and renewal and the actual amount required to sustain it in optimal condition over the life of the assets. Commonly referred to as the infrastructure gap, the City is implementing asset management planning to help ensure infrastructure investments are sustainable.