Capital vs. Operating Budgets
The Region’s budget is a financial plan that outlines the money the Region will raise and spend within a year. It is the plan that aligns the Region’s strategic priorities with the services we deliver to residents every day. It also directs what infrastructure will be purchased, constructed and repaired.
The operating budget covers the day-to-day expenses required to deliver services to residents. These costs return year after year and include items like staff wages, office supplies and utilities. The Region prepares and manages the operating budget as follows:
- Operating levy budget - pays for the daily business of the Niagara Region and its boards and agencies. This budget pays for programs and services, including the staff to deliver those services, supplies and repayment of debt for major projects. This is the amount of the operating budget that is paid for by your Regional property taxes.
- Operating rate budget - pays for rate based services such as waste management, curbside collection, recycling and landfill sites, water and waste water treatment, biosolids management and lab services. Costs for these services are charged to municipalities based on usage (water and wastewater) and number of households (waste management).
The capital budget is used for long term investments like infrastructure and facilities, that are paid off over time. Road repairs, machinery, and maintenance of water treatment plants are all capital expenses.
Watch this video to learn more.