Draft budget day at Ottawa City Hall

OTTAWA — Mayor Jim Watson and City Manager Steve Kanellakos will unveil the 2021 City of Ottawa draft budget today.

Council directed City staff to draft a budget that includes a three per cent property tax increase, which would add an extra $115 to the average property tax bill next year for urban residents or an extra $88 for rural residents.

OC Transpo fares are scheduled to increase by 2.5 per cent in 2021 and the transit levy on the tax bill will be increased by 4.6 per cent; however, Mayor Jim Watson has directed city staff to find a way to freeze transit fares for low-income residents.

Staff have warned the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to affect the city’s finances in the new year. The city is anticipating a reduction in transit and recreational revenues as ridership and recreation program registration is not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels in 2021.

The city is also expecting the ongoing pandemic will increase costs for cleaning, personal protective equipment and staffing to meet service delivery requirements.

The city council meeting begins at 10 a.m.

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