Sudbury city council has learned the provincial transfer payment it gets every year is even less than it was expecting.

Greater Sudbury will receive a cheque for $31.4 million from the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund, which is $3 million less than last year — and $7 million short of what it received in 2011.

City councillor Terry Kett said the public should blame the province and increases in the police budget when complaining about higher taxes.

"The increase is not coming from what the city did,” Kett said.

“The actual increase that we have over last year from our budget is 1.5 per cent. The city is really doing its job."

City staff say council can help neutralize the cut by voting in proposed hikes to the tipping fees at Greater Sudbury's landfill sites. 

‘Problem is much deeper’

In all, city revenue is down $52 million dollars over the past few years, largely due to the provincial funding cuts.

The provincial funding drop is a hard pill for city councillor Dave Kilgour to swallow.

"You can certainly say we've got problems around this table and don't get me wrong, we probably do. But that problem is much deeper than the one that comes from around this table — and that's the fact that we're not getting funded the way we used to."

Currently Sudbury city council is still aiming for a tax hike of three per cent for next year, or about $70 per household, on average.

That number will be finalized — along with the rest of the municipal budget — in the coming months.