Sudbury city council got its first look at the proposed 2018 budget last night.

The 487-page book recommends a 3.5 per cent tax increase for property owners, effective in 2018.

Sudbury's chief administrative officer Ed Archer said staff is doing what they can to find efficiencies at city hall, but they're also getting less help from funding partners.

The federal government is only expecting to chip in about $600,000 in 2018. That's down from around $1 million in 2017. Archer said the province is changing the way it does things too.

"One of the things that we're experiencing is a reduction in the province's unconditional grant to [the city]. The Ontario Municipal Partnership fund is decreasing by the equivalent of about 1 per cent of our tax levy," he said.

Ed Stankiewicz, the city's executive director of finance, said the increase to property taxes doesn't look bad for homeowners when looked at month by month. 

"The typical homeowner, with the value of  $230,000 for current value assessment means about $101 increase over the year, or broken down just over $8 a month," Stankiewicz said.

Property taxes

Part of the budget 2018 report to Sudbury city council is this graph, which city staff say represents where Sudburians' tax dollars go. (City of Greater Sudbury Budget 2018)

But this hike is in addition to an increase to the wastewater portion of residents' water bills if the budget is passed by council. That will be in the neighbourhood of about 7 per cent.

The budget will also include a 1.5 per cent capital levy for infrastructure.

"Currently the city has a $1.9 billion infrastructure funding requirement," Stankiewicz said. "Over the next 10 years it will grow to $3.1 billion if no additional funding is provided."

"The 1.5 per cent will generate about $2.75 million in capital dollars which could be used for debt refinancing or infrastructure renewal."

Again, the city says the levy seems scary, it's actually a small amount.

"A 1.5 per cent capital levy worth around $44 [yearly] on a monthly basis will be about $3.70."

Council will be deliberating the 2018 budget until it votes on December 12.