2008 Budget & Business Plan - Frequently Asked Questions

What is the process for developing the Region’s yearly budget?

  • The process begins with Strategic Planning, whereby actions for each of the Standing Committees are approved by Regional Council.
  • Council approves Budget Directions, a policy document that establishes Council’s fiscal and program priorities for the coming year based on several internal and external factors.
  • Regional departments prepare their budget requests based on Budget Directions and strategic action plans. Each department prepares a proposed budget.
  • Operating and Capital Budgets are prepared for services funded from property taxes (Tax Supported) and from water and wastewater utility rates (Rate Supported).
  • Budget review meetings are held in October and November with senior staff in each department, and program enhancements are reviewed and prioritized by Management Committee.
  • Financial Planning & Budgets staff receive budget requests from boards and agencies funded through the property tax levy. These are incorporated into the preliminary budget.
  • The preliminary budget document is presented to Regional Council in late November, and is reviewed by each of the Standing Committees and the Budget Review Committee prior to Council approval in December. In an election year, this entire process is delayed by one month.
  • Upon receiving recommendations from the Budget Review Committee, Regional Council will adopt the Budget by resolution as the Region’s annual budget for the year beginning January 1.

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How can the public get involved in the budget process?

  • The Standing Committee budget review meetings provide for public participation into the budget process.
  • Halton residents are invited to participate in the budget process by:
    • attending the Committee meetings
    • providing written comment
  • Those wishing to register as a delegate for the purpose of addressing the Committee or providing written comment are advised to contact the Office of the Regional Clerk at 905-825-6000 ext. 7928 by the close of the business day prior to the date of the meeting.

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What is the difference between the Tax Supported Budget and the Rate Supported Budget?

  • The Region’s Tax Supported Budget is funded through property taxes, and funds a variety of services critical to the health and safety of the Halton community, including:
    • Police Services
    • Public Health and Ambulance Services
    • Transportation
    • Waste Management
    • Income & Employment Support
    • Children’s Services and Social Housing
  • The Region’s Rate Supported Budget funds services exclusively related to the treatment and distribution of potable water and the collection and treatment of wastewater. These rates are separate from property tax bills, and appear on the bills provided by the local hydro providers.

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