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How the City spends money

The City is responsible for delivering services to citizens and for maintaining infrastructure that is used every day. The money received through sources like property taxes are spent on these services and infrastructure, and also saved in reserves and reserve funds for future spending.

How the City spends money

The City’s services are organized into different areas. Each year, these areas present their proposed budget and objectives to the Budget Committee for review and approval.

The 2021 proposed budget is allocated in the following ways:

In addition to providing services, the City is responsible for maintaining infrastructure. Infrastructure includes equipment and structures owned by the City and used by everyone.

Infrastructure includes roads, bridges, stormwater drains and sewers, sidewalks, streetlights, traffic signals, community centres, libraries, fire stations, pools, arenas, parks, trails, playground equipment, theatres, buses and bus shelters.

Infrastructure must be maintained in order to avoid excessive future repair costs, put safety first and make sure that Mississauga continues to be a great place to live, play and do business.

In total, the City owns about 60% of the total infrastructure in Mississauga, which is worth about $12.4 billion distributed as follows:

  • Roads – $2.9 billion
  • Stormwater – $4.5 billion
  • Buildings – $1.9 billion
  • Bridges – $935 million
  • Street and traffic lights – $512 million
  • Walking and cycling – $483 million
  • Equipment – $340 million
  • Parks and open spaces – $362 million
  • Transit – $300 million
  • Vehicles – $76 million
  • Culture – $47 million
  • Other – $20 million

How well are we maintaining our infrastructure?

The good news is Mississauga’s infrastructure is in pretty good shape. However, it is taking more money to keep it that way. Here’s how the condition of our roads, bridges and buildings looks:

Bar graph describing the Mississauga’s roads, bridges and buildings infrastructure maintenance pedestrian bridges. Less than one percent of the roads are rated very poor, 20% poor, 28% fair, 20% good and 31% very good. Zero percent of bridges are in very poor, 1% in poor, 15% fair, 71% in good and 13% are in good condition. Five percent of pedestrian bridges are very poor, 2% are poor, 18% fair, 27% good, 48% are in very good condition. Two percent of City buildings are very poor, 13% are poor, 16% fair, 25% good, and 44% are in very good conditions.

Graph legend

Very good: Infrastructure is in very good condition (typically new or recently repaired)

Good: Infrastructure is adequate, but show some signs of deterioration which require attention

Fair: Infrastructure show signs of deterioration and require attention

Poor: Infrastructure is in poor condition (mostly below standard), with many elements approaching their end of service life

Very poor: Infrastructure is below standard with many elements deteriorating, reaching the end of their service life and require urgent renewal

Reserves and reserve funds are established by Council to assist with long-term financial stability and financial planning in the City.

Reserves and reserve funds are an important element of the City’s financial plan. By maintaining reserves, the City can accumulate funds for future needs or contingent liabilities, a key element of sound long-term financial planning practices.

Reserves and reserve funds provide stability in times of unexpected shifts in revenues and expenditures, provide funding for one-time expenditure requirements, and minimize fluctuations in taxes caused by cyclical conditions.

Credit-rating agencies consider municipalities with higher reserves to be more advanced in their financial planning.

The City maintains operating and capital reserves and reserve funds. See more details of all reserve activity for the City.

Funding and maintaining infrastructure

The City’s infrastructure is funded from property taxes and other sources like the Federal Gas Tax or development charges. The City is facing challenges to fund the maintenance of infrastructure over the coming years due to something called the ‘infrastructure gap.

The City’s infrastructure gap

The City’s infrastructure is worth $12.4 billion. The annual depreciation expense represents the minimum amount that is required each year to replace infrastructure in the future.

The City is investing $118 million in its infrastructure while the annual depreciation based on historical costs is $137 million. The gap between what is funded and what is needed is $19 million based on historical costs. When the depreciation expense is adjusted to reflect the estimated replacement costs in today’s dollars, it’s $409 million, making the real infrastructure gap $291 million.

Despite help from federal and provincial government, we still need to continue to apply the 2% Infrastructure and Debt Repayment Levy to manage our infrastructure.

Stormwater Program

Climate change and extreme weather events can add additional pressure to the City’s stormwater management. To help combat this pressure, a stormwater charge was approved for 2016 to increase the City’s investment in the stormwater program.

Impact of COVID-19

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many City services, facilities and programs were put on hold resulting in a budget deficit. We’re planning our 2021 finances to build a business plan and budget that reflects the needs of the community.

Learn more about City’s Financial pillar as part of the four pillars of Mississauga’s COVID-19 Recovery Framework.