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Council Approves 2024 Budget and Continues to Reduce Gap Between City’s Residential Taxes & Regional Average

Last night, Owen Sound City Council approved the 2024 Budget

The goal of City staff and Council is to create a budget each year that balances the cost of providing City services with affordability for citizens. The 2024 budget responds to key needs in the community despite significant economic pressures and changing service demands. 

The total operating expenses for 2024 are $47 million, but total tax levy required is $34,899,652. The difference between what will be spent and what is required from taxpayers is offset by grants, user fees, and other revenues as City Council and staff work hard to stretch every tax dollar as far as possible. 

The City of Owen Sound collects taxes on behalf of Grey County and the Province of Ontario. Of each dollar collected by the City, the County of Grey receives 20 cents for its programs and services, the Province of Ontario receives 8 cents for public education, and the City of Owen Sound keeps 72 cents of each dollar to provide services. Of the total tax levy of $34.9 million dollars, $15.7 million dollars (44 per cent) funds three services: Police ($8,578,808), Fire ($5,830,315), and Transit ($1,267,181), while the remainder $19.2 million funds all other city services. 

Over the last three years, the City has made significant strides to reduce the gap between Owen Sound’s residential taxes and the average for Grey Bruce. Since last year, this gap was reduced by 7 per cent. With the current increase, the gap is estimated to close by an additional 5-7 per cent in 2024. (In multi-residential and commercial taxes, Owen Sound is in the mid-range, and in industrial the low range for the region.) 

The draft budget presented on December 1 anticipated a municipal levy increase of 3.52 per cent, which has been reduced to a proposed levy increase of 2.58 per cent. Once combined with upper-tier and education levies, the total tax bill will increase by an estimated 3.05 per cent. Therefore, the average household impact would result in a home assessed at $232,150 paying an additional $130.14 per year in taxes, or $10.84 per month. 

Over the past term of Council, the City has achieved tax increases below that of the rate of inflation and neighbouring municipalities and the average of regional comparators. The City continues to work to achieve a goal of relative taxes that are on par with the average relative taxes for similar-sized municipalities within the province, while continuing to be competitive with commercial, industrial, and multi-residential tax rates. 

Council will formally pass a by-law to adopt the budget at a public meeting on Monday, March 11. 

For additional details, review the Key Insights into Navigating the City’s 2024 Operating Budget

For more information, please contact Kate Allan, Director of Corporate Services at 519-376-4440 ext. 1238 or email 


"Council and staff have worked hard to support various strategic priorities in the proposed 2024 City budget.  It reflects the balance of the cost of living and inflation with providing our residents with the service levels they expect from us and rely upon." 

-     Mayor Ian Boddy 

Quick Facts: 

  • Owen Sound's budget is made up of two halves: Capital and Operating.  
  • The Operating Budget includes finances required to keep City services running, such as salaries and winter maintenance.  
  • The City of Owen Sound also collects taxes on behalf of the County of Grey and the Province of Ontario for education. 
  • The municipal levy is the total amount of funds the City of Owen Sound collects from its property taxpayers. 
  • For more information, visit 
  • The Capital Budget consists of large projects to maintain facilities, roads, and other critical infrastructure.  Capital projects are budgeted over a multi-year plan. 


Contact Us

808 2nd Avenue East,
Owen Sound, ON
N4K 2H4
Phone: 519-376-1440
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