Property taxes

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How does the City calculate property taxes?

Guelph’s annual budget is just one part of your property tax bill. Property taxes are calculated based on the value of a property, Provincial taxes, (to fund education) and Municipal taxes (to fund Police Fire and Ambulance Service, Roads, Sidewalks, Transit, Parks, Trails, Museums, Recreation Centres, Libraries, and all City programs and services).

This short video explains the relationship between property values and property taxes.

Where do your tax dollars go?

For every dollar the City collects in property taxes, 22 cents goes to the province to fund education. The remaining 78 cents helps to fund City services and programs. In 2019, the City’s portion of property taxes, $244.1 million, is allocated as shown below.


Text version

Local Boards and Shared Services funding = 32.4%

Department / unit Percentage
Police 17.2%
Library 3.8%
Social Services 9.2%
Public Health 1.6%
Long-Term Care (Elliot) 0.6%

Corporate Administration funding = 9.9%

Department / unit Percentage
Mayor and Council 0.5%
Administrative Services 6.2%
Other services 3.2%

Capital Financing and Infrastructure funding = 14.4%

Public Services funding = 34.9%

Department / unit Percentage
Guelph Wellington Paramedics 2.6%
Fire 10.9%
Transit 7.7%
Recreation 1.8%
Parks and Forestry 4.0%
Culture and Tourism 2.7%
Roads and Sidewalks 5.2%

Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise Services funding = 8.4%

Department / unit Percentage
Engineering 1.0%
Solid Waste Resources 5.3%
Planning and Economic Development 2.1%

Can we talk about long-term financial planning?

The City has an annual budget to fund in-year programs and services. But what about putting money aside to make sure we can deliver those services into the future? As a property owner, you understand the need to put money aside to repair your roof or replace your furnace. Like you, we plan ahead to balance the financial resources with the community’s long-term needs.

Tax-supported funding allocation

Of the $244.1 million the City will bill for property taxes this year, 14.4 per cent, or almost $35.3 million, will be used for infrastructure. This will be transferred to the capital reserve funds and used to build, upgrade and renew City assets, such as roads and bridges, community centres, parks and buses.

Capital and Infrastructure

A breakdown of Capital Financing and Infrastructure funding:

City Building 99%; Contaminated sites 7%; Growth 8%; Infrastructure renewal 76%

Infrastructure Renewal

A breakdown of the Infrastructure Renewal funding by program:

Corporate projects 16%; Emergency Services 7%; Open Spaces, Recreation, Culture and Library 19%; Solid Waste 6%; Transportation 51%

Infrastructure renewal funding

The graph below is a snapshot of the City’s tax-supported infrastructure renewal plan to 2038:

  • The red lines show the amount of money required for infrastructure renewal projects, as outlined in Guelph’s Corporate Asset Management Plan.
  • The blue bars show how much money is available to do the projects within those years.
  • The pink bars show the gap in funding.

By 2036, we are forecasting to have enough funding to meet the infrastructure renewal needs of that year. However, the accumulated funding gaps from 2019-2035 add an additional $188 million to the tax-supported infrastructure backlog, which is currently $283 million. The backlog will total over $471 million in 2036 and won’t be funded. Grants from other levels of government and tax-supported funding beyond 2036 will be needed to enable the City to eliminate the backlog.

How does Guelph compare?

The municipal study by BMA Management Consulting looks at 86 cities across Ontario, and shows how Guelph compares to other municipalities when it comes to property values, municipal taxes and more. 13 MB2017 BMA Municipal Study5 MB2016 BMA Municipal Study13 MB2015 BMA Municipal Study13 MB2014 BMA Municipal Study Learn more about BMA Management Consulting.

For more information