It’s the time of year when municipal politicians start figuring out changes to tax and user rates for the following year’s budgets.

In Waterloo Region, the biggest of those jobs falls on regional councillors. Slightly more than half of the typical residential property tax bill in the region goes toward regional coffers.

On Wednesday, regional councillors learned that their 2017 budget currently calls for a 2.3 per cent property tax increase, assuming no cuts or increases to service levels.

That number also doesn’t include the budget for Waterloo Regional Police. The 2016 budget featured a 2.22 per cent property tax increase, which rose to 2.89 per cent when police were factored in.

It does include the sixth of seven straight 1.5 per cent increases to the tax levy for rapid transit funding. After a smaller increase in 2019, there are no tax increases for rapid transit on the region’s books.

Also expected to rise in 2017 are the region’s water supply and wastewater treatment rates – by 1.9 per cent and 7.9 per cent respectively.

A 2.3 per cent increase to property taxes would mean a jump of $43.70 for a property valued at $312,500, which is the region’s average.

The projected tax increase is likely to change several times over the coming months as councillors add and remove items from the budget.

Nov. 16 and Dec. 14 have been set aside as dates for members of the public to give their advice on the budget, and everything is expected to be finalized by January.