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Apply to Establish a Debt Limit

The Local Government Committee (LGC) approves municipal debt limits.

Below are the steps to apply to establish a debt limit.


1. Overview

Municipalities require approval from the LGC to establish a debt limit.

The LGC will review and make a decision regarding the application.


2. Guidance

Cities may apply to have a debt limit established. The LGC recommends a city have an established debt limit to avoid the requirement for approval of every borrowing it undertakes. A city's debt limit is determined by its own source revenues from the previous year.

Newly updated legislation allows for municipalities other than cities to apply to the LGC to establish a debt limit that exceeds their own source revenues from the previous year. Municipalities interested in establishing a debt limit should consult with the LGC to determine the anticipated benefits.

Establishing a debt limit will allow a municipality to borrow money for a term of over three years without approval from the LGC. However, if the municipality would like to borrow or guarantee money in excess of its debt limit, approval would be required for the additional amount.


3. Eligibility

For cities, you may apply to the LGC if you'd like to establish or change your debt limit.

For other municipalities, you may apply to the LGC if:

  • you'd like to establish or change your debt limit; and
  • the new debt limit exceeds the municipality's amount of own source revenues from the preceding year.

4. How to Apply

If you are eligible to apply:

  1. Complete the application to the LGC and include all required documents listed in the application. 

  2. Submit the application to the LGC:
    • personally by emailing, submitting online or delivering;
    • by registered mail; or
    • by regular mail.

5. Apply

  • Step 1 (Saving file): Right-click on "Application to the Local Government Committee" box below then select "Save Link as..." or "Save Target as..." and save the file to your computer.
  • Step 2 (Opening file): Open the PDF using Adobe Acrobat® or Adobe Reader®, version 8 or later.

Application to the Local Government Committee


6. Further Information

Legislation that applies to municipal debt limits includes:

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