Making “Cents” of It All: A Look at the 2017 City of Vaughan Budget Process


Each year the City of Vaughan passes a budget to determine how funds are allocated. It goes towards picking up garbage, clearing snow, teaching fire prevention, and many more programs and services that your family enjoys and relies on. The City invites you to get involved in the 2017 budget process and is providing a variety of ways for residents to be informed and provide feedback. The meetings provide the Finance, Administration and Audit Committee the opportunity to discuss the draft budget and listen to resident input. After that, it goes to a Special Council Meeting for Council approval. The City invites you to get involved in the 2017 budget process and is providing a variety of ways for residents to be informed and provide feedback.
What makes up the budget?
A municipality’s budget is made up of two parts: Operating Portion and Capital Portion.
  1. Operating – spent on running City facilities, programs and services
  2. Capital – spent on building and repairing City infrastructure, including roads, pipes and buildings
What funds the budget?
To fund the operating and capital budgets in Vaughan, annual revenues are generated. The main sources of revenue are property taxes, user fees and development charges.
  • Property taxes
    Your property tax bill is divided between the City of Vaughan, York Region and the Province of Ontario for education. Vaughan uses its portion of your taxes to pay for City programs and services.
  • User fees and service charges
    These are paid by residents and businesses when accessing certain services, such as recreation programs and permits.
  • Development charges
    These are paid by developers and are used to help fund capital projects, such as roads, pipes, libraries and fire halls.
Where do my taxes go?
Your property tax bill may come in a City of Vaughan envelope, but less than 30 per cent of your property taxes go to the City of Vaughan.





These organizations use your taxes to pay for services they deliver, such as:
City Services Regional Services Province of Ontario
Fire and rescue services York Regional Police Education (elementary and secondary schools)
Public works and road services Maintenance of major roadways, sewers and bridges
Snow clearing Traffic planning on regional roads
Waste management Regional waste disposal
Vaughan Public Libraries Public health services
Parks and sports field operations Social assistance
Infrastructure replacement Social housing
Recreation Transit services (YRT, VIVA buses)
Maintenance of City facilities Emergency medical services
City planning and development Regional planning and growth management
By-law and compliance
Office support and administration

What do my taxes pay for?

In 2016, the City of Vaughan will spend $361.9 million on delivering programs and services, and building and maintaining City infrastructure (buildings, roads, pipes). This is how your tax dollar is divided among City departments:
  • 22 cents go to Public Works to maintain street and traffic lights, and clear roads during the winter
  • 19 cents go to Community Services for recreation programs, such as swimming, dance and fitness
  • 17 cents go to Fire to help keep residents safe
  • 15 cents go to General Government, Legal and Clerks to provide internal resources to support service delivery
  • 10 cents go to Capital Investment and Debt Servicing to build/repair City infrastructure (roads, pipes, buildings)
  • 7 cents go to Libraries for books, resources and programs
  • 7 cents go to Planning and Growth to manage the growth of the city
  • 1 cent goes to the City Manager to fulfill Council’s priorities
  • 1 cent goes to Council, Internal Audit and the Integrity Commissioner to maintain governance of the City

How do Vaughan’s taxes compare to other GTA municipalities?

The City of Vaughan has one of the lowest tax rates in the GTA. Vaughan is focused on keeping tax rates low and maintaining service levels. During the 2015 budget process, Vaughan Council committed that taxes will not increase by more than three per cent each year over the next four years.

What is the Healthcare Centre Precinct Plan – Development Levy?

In 2009, the City approved an $80-million funding strategy to bring a hospital to Vaughan. The strategy included a dedicated Healthcare Centre Precinct Plan – Development Levy.
The annual levy will increase slightly each year as a result of assessment growth. Based on the current levy, the contribution will be recovered within approximately six years or by 2022. The financial plan spans 13 years which is significantly less than the initial 20-year recovery time frame.

The levy is not part of the City’s operations and is shown separately on property tax bills. These funds have gone directly to purchase the hospital precinct lands and prepare the site, which includes building sewers, roads and streetlights on the lands. For 2016, the levy is approximately $60 for the average home assessed at $626,000.

Here is how you can participate…

  • Attend public meetings in Council Chamber at Vaughan City Hall or watch the meetings live online at
Monday, November 7
7:00 p.m.
Budget overview and public deputations
Monday, November 14
7:00 p.m.
Departmental reviews and public deputations
Monday, November 28
7:00 p.m.
Wrap-up and public deputations
Tuesday, December 13
7:00 p.m.
Special Council Meeting to approve the budget
  • Provide input through an online budget feedback form at
  • Call 905-832-8610 to leave a message that will be shared with Council.
  • Join the conversation on the City’s Twitter and Facebook pages using #vaughanbudget2017. The City will also be tweeting live from public meetings.
  • Learn about the budget on the City’s website at
  • Subscribe to the City’s blog and eNewsletter for regular updates.
  • Email any questions or comments to the City at
For more information and to stay up to date on the budget, please visit

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