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How Municipal Budgets Work

Annual Budget

2024 Budget Updates

Frequently Asked Questions

Budget Updates


How Municipal Budgets Work

Annual Municipal Budget Planning

The budgeting process allows municipalities to prioritize projects, programs and service levels based on anticipated revenue and expenses. In Callander, one of our primary sources for budget planning is our Strategic Plan, which helps guide us to determine what the priorities are each year. More information about our Strategic Plan is available on our Plans and Strategies Page. Typically, a municipality's annual budget routinely consists of 2 components:

  1. Operating budget plans for day-to-day expenditures such as:
    1. Salaries, wages and benefits
    2. Materials and supplies
    3. Equipment and building maintenance
    4. Heat and Hydro
  2. Capital budget plans for the purchase, financing of assets or improvement of existing infrastructure such as:
    1. Road resurfacing projects
    2. Major building repairs/enhancements
    3. Building construction
    4. Major park developments
    5. New construction projects

Budgets are "forward-looking" documents. They report a municipality's planned revenue and the cost of public services for an annual or multi-year period (Source: Ontario.ca).

Video from the Municipal Finance Officer's Association, click hereThis link opens in a new window.
Video from the Municipal Finance Officer's Association, click here.


Reserve Funds

For the downloadable PDF about how Reserves and Reserve Funds Work, click here.

Reserve funds are a lot like a savings account for a Municipality. Reserves are typically part of an overall strategy for funding operating programs and projects. These funds help offset unexpected expenses or revenue shortfalls. Reserves and reserve funds are an important tool for a municipality's long-term financial sustainability. Setting money aside for unavoidable events (like floods) and for capital projects (like road repairs) reduces the need for long-term borrowing or imposing sudden tax increases on current or future tax-payers. However, just like a regular savings account, when you take money out of reserves it also needs to be returned at a later time.

Schedule A2 - Reserve and Reserve Funds 2023 - AMENDED

By-law 2023-1806 - To Adopt a Reserve and Reserve Fund Policy

By-law 2023-1806 - Schedule A - Policy 014 - Reserve and Reserve Fund Policy

By-law 2023-1806 - Schedules B and C - Policy 014 - Reserve and Reserve Fund Policy

Annual Budgets

The Council of the Corporation of the Municipality of Callander adopts two annual budgets by by-law each year: a General Ratepayers’ Budget and a Water & Wastewater Budget.

General Ratepayer's Budget

Water & Wastewater


2024 Budget Updates

Frequently Asked Questions about the 2023 Budget

How are taxes calculated?

How will the taxation increase affect me personally?

What are the contributing factors that resulted in a taxation increase?

How do we compare to our neighbouring municipalities?

What am I getting for the added tax dollars?

Why aren't you pulling more money out of reserves?

Will taxation increase similarly in the future?


How are taxes calculated?

There are two components to calculating municipal taxes:

  1. The Overall Assessment Value
    1. Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) assesses values of properties typically every four years. The assessed value is phased-in over a 4-year timeframe.
    2. MPAC did not conduct the 2020 assessment, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Properties throughout Ontario remain at their 2016 assessed value.
    3. A Municipality’s overall assessment can also be captured by new builds, additions to homes or construction of accessory structures.
  2. Municipal Tax Rate
    1. The tax rate fluctuates based on what Council decides it needs to collect in order to provide the expected level of service, and any other objectives they may have for that given year.


If the assessed value goes up, there is less impact on the tax rate. If the assessed value goes down, or remains the same, there may be a need for the tax rate to increase in order to provide the expected level of service.

How will the taxation increase affect me personally?

MPAC Assessed Value

Annual Amount Increase

Monthly Cost Increase
































What are the contributing factors that resulted in a taxation increase?

No assessment increases from MPAC

Cost of Living

Strategic Objectives

Capital Asset Management Plan

How do we compare to our neighbouring municipalities?

What am I getting for the Added Tax Dollars?

Birchgrove Resurfacing

Byers Road Culvert Replacement

Fairway Drive

Osprey Crescent

Truck #4

Hart Road Resurfacing

McDonald Road Resurfacing

Enhancing of Breakwall at Pier

Cemetery Columbarium

Hydraulic RAM

Ninovan Road Resurfacing

Pallet Forks

Waltonian Culverts Replacement

Accessibility Ramp for Main Buidling

Generator for Main Building

Pavillion Furniture & Remainder of Waterfront Project


2022 Carry Over

Accessibility Entrance (Library)

Main Street Engineering

Crosswalk Signage at Schools

Bill Barber Rink Upgrades

There is also:


Why aren’t you pulling more money out of reserves?

Council is pulling out nearly 1.2 million from reserves to assist with capital projects this year, and to reduce the burden on taxpayers. Although nearly $8 million exists in reserves, all of the funds are attributed to various initiatives. There is $1,200,000 that could have been attributed to reducing the tax rate, however with the potential for OPP costs to escalate heavily (by nearly $1.1 million) in 2024, Council is concerned that this would have a significant impact on the residents at that time. Keeping these funds to assist in reducing the tax burden in 2024 or 2025 is essential.

The attributed funds in each reserve and reserve fund after budget approval, along with their description is listed below:

Reserve Fund

Balance at end of 2023

Equipment & Fleet Operations Reserve (Operations)


Equipment & Fleet Operations Reserves (Fire)


Information Technology


Infrastructure Reserve


Infrastructure Reserve (Water/Wastewater)


Facility Maintenance Reserve


Facility Maintenance Reserve (Water/Wastewater)


General Parks Reserve


Working Funds Reserve (General)


Water & Wastewater General Reserve


Downtown and Waterfront Community Development Reserve


Medical Centre Reserve


Elections Reserve Fund


New Building Reserve Fund


Library Building Reserve Fund


Parkland Dedication Reserve Fund


Development Charges Reserve Fund


Community Building Reserve Fund (Gas Tax)


Museum Reserve Fund


Building Department Operating Reserve Fund


Cemetery Care and Maintenance Fund



Will taxation increase similarly in the future?

Future increases in taxation are unknown at this time, however Council is doing what it can to ensure the rate remains fair and reasonable for its taxpayers. Of major concern is the OPP transition to contracted service in 2024. This is currently an unknown but, if it does occur, it would result in a $1.1 million impact on the budget in one year.

If MPAC does not reassess, and new homes are not being constructed in Callander, there continues to be a push for more tax increases, to compensate for the loss of typical revenue received on an annual basis, especially in a climate where the cost of living continues to increase.

2023 Budget Updates

April 15th 2023: Council Establishes Ad-Hoc Budget Committee

March 16th 2023: Press Release: General Ratepayers and Water & Wastewater

February 14th 2023: Staff Presented Council with an Amended Draft Budget

January 12th 2023: Staff Presented Council with a Draft Budget


Financial statements are "backward-looking" documents. They report on the actual resources used by the municipalities and the full cost of the services delivered to the public in that year.

The municipality's financial statements at the end of the year may differ from their original budget for several reasons:

Long-term financial planning considers a municipality's long-term costs and investments over a multi-year period (ex. 10 years) and considers things like:

Just like personal financial planning, it is important to plan for upcoming expenses and save for them gradually, rather than having huge expenses come up all at once (Source: Ontario.ca).

2022 Consolidated Financial Statements

December 31, 2021 Financial Statements - Callander

Report on 2022 Council Honoraria and Planning Committees Expenses

Municipality of Callander Drinking Water System Financial Plan (2020-2026)

2022 Asset Management Plan