KITCHENER -- Guelph city council heard from more than 30 residents on Wednesday night about the proposed 2021 budget.

The proposed budget includes a 3.62 per cent tax increase, but Mayor Cam Guthrie wants to see that number lower.

Delegations included community groups needing more funding and residents who want to see a lower tax increase.

Councillors said the decisions are all more difficult because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has left cities with a cash shortage.

A report from council said $12 million in provincial funding will help take care of many pandemic funds and they can dip into reserves to cover the rest.

The 2021 budget calls for a 3.62 per cent property tax increase, along with a 2.8 per cent increase for water volume and one per cent for wastewater.

The report also forecasts tax increases for the next three years. Those include 5.99 per cent in 2022, 5.99 per cent in 2023 and 5.54 per cent in 2024.

The final budget vote is scheduled for Dec. 1.