A new online survey that asks people to make their own city budget leaves out the cost of big ticket items like the arena or the new Royal Alberta Museum and one critic says that's misleading. 

"This thing leaves massive spending items off the table and presents a false set of choices,” said Derek Fildebrandt, Alberta director of the Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation.

“I can’t see how this is going to provide any useful tool to council other than trying to convince people that they have no options but to raise taxes."

The interactive tool allows people how much they want to spend on city services like police, recreation programs and neighbourhood renewal.

But the budget has to balance, so adding to one pot of money means taking from another.

"It really asks at the base of it what is most important to Edmontonians, where do they want their tax dollars going, what's most vital and how do we save dollars as well,” said Jason Darrah from the City of Edmonton.

Edmontonians have until next week to do the survey. The city is also holding a public hearing on the budget on Nov. 25.