Budget and Finance

Each year, City Council considers community priorities, Strategic Priorities, expected service levels, and legislated responsibilities as it sets the operating and capital budgets for the City of Owen Sound.

Click this link to watch the Draft 2024 Operating Budget and Presentation. You’ll hear and find information and facts about the City’s Draft 2024 Operating Budget as compared to other similar-sized municipalities and learn about the revenue and costs to provide all the City services to its citizens and businesses.  You can read the Presentation from the Director of Corporate Services by clicking here.

If you require assistance or an accessible format of this presentation, please contact the Communications Advisor at 519-376-1440 ext. 1211 or by emailing communications@owensound.ca.


Operating budgets cover the City's daily services and programs.  The Operating Budget is reviewed and updated annually.  Operating costs include materials and supplies, wages and wage-related costs, contract payments, debt payments and transfers to reserves to fund future capital.

The 2023 tax levy Operating Budget totals $33.1 million. 
View the City's 2023 Operating Budget book

Capital dollars are spent on the City's assets and infrastructure. While regular repairs and maintenance are budgeted for under operating, the capital budget plans for major rehabilitation, replacement and new capital assets. Capital project examples include bridge replacements, building refurbishments or upgrades, or new equipment.

The 2024-2028 Capital Plan includes $90.7 million in funded Capital Projects. 
View the City's 2024-2028 Multi-Year Capital Plan Budget in Brief

The Appendices include more detailed breakdowns of each capital project and can be viewed by clicking the links below:
Appendix A - Full List of 2024 Projects

Multi-Year Capital Plan

The City of Owen Sound has implemented a multi-year budget planning process with a five-year outlook on Capital projects.  This road map, built with the guidance of Council and with their Strategic Priorities in mind, provides a longer-term outlook on Capital spending.

Benefits of multi-year capital planning include:
• Alignment of longer-term goals and objectives with funding plans.
• Greater certainty for residents about the future direction of taxes.
• Improved accountability and transparency of the long-term spending plan.
• Flexible allocation of resources over time.
• Improved resource planning for more complex, multi-year Capital projects.
• More efficient use of time and resources as the organization is not in ‘perpetual budget mode'.
• Ability to tender projects earlier and receive more favourable pricing.

Capital 'Plan' vs 'Budget'

"Budget" refers to funds that are specifically collected from the property tax base. The tax levy is dedicated funds that increase by one percent each year, and the 'budget' is tied to this amount. The budgeted tax levy funding source is finite and cannot be changed without Council approval.

"Capital Plan" includes the tax levy (budget) amount, as well as additional funding sources such as grants, external funding, water and wastewater rates, user fees, etc. The non-tax levy portion of the Capital Plan has bit more flexibility on how and where it is allocated between projects and between years.

Previous Annual Budgets

Financial Statements

The annual financial statements provide information to the public and Council on the financial position and activities of the City. The statements are reviewed and audited by an accounting firm that is independent of the City's own staff.

Click to view past Financial Reports and more information.

For certain projects, the City of Owen Sound benefits from Infrastructure Canada's federal gas tax funds.

 Investing in Canadda #Fedinvest 

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