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.

Operating Budget

The operating budget covers the day-to-day expenses needed 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:

  • General levy operating budget - pays for the daily business of 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 amount is paid for by your Regional property taxes.
  • Special levy operating budgets - a separate levy is assessed for operating waste management services to support the curbside collection and disposal of garbage and organics, and for transit to support an integrated transit service for Niagara. The tax rate you pay will vary by city / town.
  • Rate operating budget - pays for rate based services of water and wastewater treatment, including biosolids management, lab services and infrastructure costs. These services are charged to municipalities based on usage and then the municipality determines the charge to each customer.

Capital Budget

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.

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